July 2009 News
Our Mission And Beyond
I find it is amazing as a child of God that He took the time to give us an instruction manual that guides and directs all that we do. The issues of how to live, how to serve, and how to love others are all in the Bible. What a loving Father we have!
As an organization, we also have a document that guides us in all the decisions we make about the services we provide to troubled children and families. This document is our Mission, Plan and Values Statement. As a Staff & Board we continually use the Bible to understand truth and life and we are further directed by our Mission, Plan and Values to make wise business and ministry decisions. Our Mission Statement says: “Our mission is to honor and obey God by providing help and healing to troubled children and families who then may bless others”.
Through the lives of our House Parents, Foster Parents, Adoptive Families and our other staff, we continually fulfill our mission to serve troubled and at-risk children and families. Your support through donations, volunteering, and prayer, is essential in helping us fulfill or mission.
I would like to extend a personal invitation to everyone to join us on the Gateway Woods campus on August 8th for our 33rd Annual Benefit Auction. We are excited to see how the Lord will provide for Gateway Woods through this wonderful one-day event.
- By Jeff Schumacher, Administrator
Our Enduring Mission
At Gateway Woods, every one of our Board Meetings is opened with a time of devotion led by a Board Member. Next we read our Mission, Plan, and Values that, along with the Bible, serves as a benchmark for all decision-making.
Our Mission is to provide help and healing to troubled children and families who then may bless others. So that is our desire as we expand Home-Based Services and Foster Care. Our plan is to deliver exceptional restorative services to children and families by honoring our governing values. Our Values are to use the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as our motivation and authority. Our Values also include the family structure as our core and cornerstone and primary therapeutic tool. Further we are challenged to maintain high standards, integrity, and to work as a team. Our Values include wise use of our spiritual gifts (our converted experience), human resources (staff), and financial and material assets (campus and donations).
The Board’s general duties are to monitor Gateway Woods’ financial health and program effectiveness and to set policy. We also provide the administration with the resources needed
to position Gateway Woods to be spiritually useful in the child care field.
More specifically, the Board’s duties include: Our individual responsibilities begin with being prepared to contribute to board meetings, committee meetings, and other short-notice meetings. We must assume leadership responsibilities. Communication with churches in our regions and each local church representative is vital. Often as a Board Member retires, he acts as a mentor to the new Board Member. It is very important that we support Gateway Woods and the staff with our time, the talents that God gives us, and through prayer. Each of our Board Members is encouraged to spend a full day each year experiencing first hand the work that occurs at Gateway Woods. Time spent on and off campus may include attending meetings, visiting foster parents and residential families, sitting in at school, and observing court proceedings.
All the efforts that the Board does include an intertwined working of our Strategic Plan, Mission Plan & Values, and our budget. Currently, our desire is to promote and provide preventative help to families and children before major problems require a placement. More restrictive care usually means higher costs and more intensive services.
Our five-year Strategic Plan includes steps to expand Home-Based Services and Foster Care. We ask questions such as “Have we projected when new employees will be added? Will we have additional office space available?” The Strategic Plan is a tool to project where we think we should be as we look ahead. Our plan is derived from our Board and staff’s assessment of our opportunities, restrictions, and where/how we feel Gateway Woods needs to be positioned. Every few years, we do significant revisions to our five-year plan, and at every November meeting we revisit the plan for review and modifications.
The Board’s duty is to orchestrate our mission plan and values, the budget, and the strategic plan so that each part on its own and together, like an orchestra, can blend so that the whole is in harmony and useful. Yet, even with all our best efforts, ultimately we rely on God’s direction, intervention, and blessing.
We have a variety of personalities and professions on our Board. Currently, private and public business each make up about half of the Board. Our occupations include: machine & auto tire sales, management, engineering, accounting, real estate, and farming.
We are again thankful for God’s Word and for the mission and values that our leadership has established. As we move forward into the future, we trust in God’s provision to help us reach more children and families in need. Yes, the need is there and always will be there, and we are truly thankful for each Board Member who willingly serves day in and day out to further God’s eternal kingdom.
- By Matt Steiner, Board President
How Our Values Come To Life
At Gateway Woods, our faith in Jesus Christ provides the motivation and creates the values we hold. Commitment to a church family is one of those values that is exciting to share with the children who live and attend school here.
The Leo church does so much to reach out to serve our staff and children at Gateway Woods. By their many acts of love they demonstrate what a church family can do for one another. This summer we have a local teacher from the church volunteering at Gateway Woods School to do some one-on-one tutoring with Chelsea, a Maple House resident. They work on algebra skills most of the time, but there is a relationship being built as well. Now, when Chelsea goes to church she has a special connection to someone who she can talk with and feel supported by.
Some of the children who live at Gateway have not seen the body of Christ at work before. The Gateway Woods staff works hard every day to share the love of God with the children we are entrusted with, but we cannot do it alone.
Our mission is to heal broken families and relationships and the church is one of the tools that we use to accomplish that. The outreach of our local church coupled with volunteers from all over the country sends a message about the purpose of the church. When a resident leaves Gateway Woods they will always be able to say “I’ve been to church where people love God and love others.”
- Tim Wiegand, Director of Education
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