Rockford’s Crossfire ministries travel to Africa’s Ivory Coast by PASTOR Keith Hemmila Crossfire Ministries If you are satisfied with your life and happy with yourself, don’t go to Africa. You will come back forever changed. Abidjan was just another dot on the map until we visited this city. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but now it has a permanent home forever in our hearts. We still see a multitude of faces, beautiful people going through the motions of everyday life, with a hope that someday things will improve. Civil War broke out in early 2001 that crippled the country. Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s largest city of 3.8 million, was hardest hit. The war caused 800,000 Europeans to exit the country along with the world bank. This beautiful city turned into a refugee camp. Young people between the ages of 16 and 25 populated the city. Many had lost their families in the war and had come to Abidjan to reestablish themselves. Every morning it hit us that in a few days we would be going home, but for these people, this is their life. While we drove through the city, we felt helpless as we encountered so many people in need. Our hearts were troubled as we caught sight of an elderly woman begging for her daily food. Children walked between the cars at intersections selling goods from newspapers to toilet paper. But the most heartbreaking scene was a young man walking on his feet and hands because his body was so severely twisted. Medical facilities were minimal for this unfortunate man. It was a startling reminder of the difference between our country and a third world country. Myself and wife Judy Hemmila, Sherry Holmes, Shirlee Kamstra and Linda Penn-Davies made up the team that went to Abidjan. The purpose of our visit was to work with Bishop Anthony Yeboah, Field Director of Free International Missions. Pastors preached at eight services in three different churches. The three other participants came as support staff. Rice was purchased by Crossfire Ministries and distributed to needy people. Also, this team had the opportunity to visit a new church Crossfire Ministries helped finance in 2008. The road trip to our first ministry event was shocking. Garbage lined the […]
Articles by Squire News
When the Rockford Garden Club asked Rockford schools where they would like a few new trees planted, Jim VanHouten of the grounds department had the answer. On Thursday, April 9, club members joined VanHouten and staff from Shaner Nursery at a high school ball field. A sunny hilltop where families sit to watch their student-athletes play was cool in April, but can be uncomfortably warm in summer months. The Garden Club had just the solution in three maples. “We very rarely buy trees, we focus on other things, so we really appreciate this when it happens,” said VanHouten. The Rockford Garden Club is one of many organizations in Rockford that contribute to the quality of life in our town. Donating trees to Rockford Public Schools is an on-going effort. This year the club was able to buy the three trees at about $180 each for the high school. The trees will eventually reach 45 feet and provide a good amount of shade. So far the club has donated to several other schools, and has the goal of donating one to each school in the district. When they contacted the high school, they were asked if they could donate more than one. Funds for trees and an annual scholarship for a Rockford High School graduate going into the field of horticulture come from an annual plant sale which has grown very successful as the word has gotten out about the great deals offered. This year’s sale is scheduled for Saturday, May 16, at the Rotary pavilion located at the corner of Squire and Courtland in downtown Rockford. The public will enjoy the efforts of the 66 members and their green thumbs as they sell home grown garden goods including perennials, ground covers, small bushes/shrubs, annuals, herbs, bulbs and vines. Members will be on hand to offer advice and answer questions. Many are master gardeners. The open sale begins at 9:00 a.m. and at 11:30 there will be an auction of remaining plants. Shoppers can enjoy the low prices and wide selection, as well as free advice. Spend freely and know that proceeds go toward good works such as the donation project for Rockford Public Schools. VanHouten stated, “As a school district we love to see this […]
Hitting the gas instead of the break put a mini van through the plate glass window of Lickety Split ice cream shop, 1259 Post Drive, Belmont, Suite F, on Saturday, May 2. Witnesses say a family had been sitting at the table in front of the window minutes before the crash, and that the children had left their seats to look something up in a Bible at the shop. The elderly drivers waited in the vehicle until Kent County Sheriff deputies arrived on the scene. Not only did the van shatter the window at Lickity Split, the wall of the dental office next door was also damaged. Deputies reported there were no injuries.
Program among the top in the nation by earning NAEYC accreditation FOREVER FUN-Kaleigh Olsen and Jackson Southwick blowing bubbles. ARTIST AT WORK-Trent Behrenwald completing his 3-D creation. Rockford Public Schools Childcare has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) – the nation’s leading organization of early childhood professionals. “We’re proud to have earned the mark of quality from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards,” said Mary Blakeslee, program director. “NAEYC accreditation lets families in our community know that children in our program are getting the best care and early learning experiences possible.” To earn NAEYC accreditation, the childcare went through an extensive self-study process, measuring the program and its services against the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards and more than 400 related accreditation criteria. The program received NAEYC accreditation after a site visit by NAEYC assessors to ensure the program meets each of the ten program standards. NAEYC-accredited programs are also subject to unannounced visits during their accreditation, which lasts for five years. In the 23 years since NAEYC accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. Almost 8,000 programs, serving one million young children, are currently accredited by NAEYC-approximately eight percent of all preschools and other early childhood programs. “The NAEYC accreditation system raises the bar for preschools, childcare centers and other early childhood programs,” said Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., executive director of NAEYC. “The school’s childcare NAEYC accreditation is a sign that they are a leader in a national effort to invest in high-quality early childhood education, and to help give all children a better start.” The NAEYC accreditation system has set voluntary professional standards for programs for young children since 1985. In September 2006, the Association revised program standards and criteria to introduce a new level of quality, accountability, and service for parents and children in childcare programs. The new standards today reflect the latest research and best practices in early childhood education and development. NAEYC is committed to utilizing the newest studies and analysis on positive child outcomes to ensure young children continue receiving the highest-quality care and education possible. The NAEYC accreditation system was created to set professional standards […]