So What's Next?

Welp. That was fast. The school year is over.

Summer is here. Cut up that watermelon and cover yourself in Banana Boat, it’s time to embrace all that summer has for us.

The 2016-2017 school year was big for Forerunner. God did a lot here in Lake Highlands.

Personally, it’s hard for me to look back and appreciate all that the Lord has done through Forerunner Mentoring Program. Since I am in the thick of it day-in-and-day-out, I take for granted all that the Lord is doing.

So here are some of the things the Lord did through Forerunner in 2016-2017:

  • Added Kimo Aleman to our full-time staff
  • Doubled the size of our Northlake Equipping Program
  • Grew our budget from $123,000 to $236,000
  • Added Mac Macfarlan to our Board of Directors
  • Faithfully provided our entire budget
  • Helped one of our moms get a new job
  • Gave us vision and a plan to grow our Forerunner Family Ministry to serve our mothers
  • One Forerunner confessed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior
  • Sent another one of our Forerunners to college
  • Helped one of our moms get her GED
  • Added Tre’ Crume and Isaac Harris to our part-time staff
  • Gave us vision and a plan for two new Equipping Programs
  • Gave us the opportunity to be on WFAA Channel 8
  • Helped our Forerunners improve academically and behaviorally
  • Helped one of our Forerunners transfer to Lake Highlands Junior High so he could continue to participate in Forerunner
  • Started new relationships with the principals of Skyview Elementary and Lake Highlands Junior High

I’m sure I am missing a few things.

Honestly people, this is amazing! Praise the Lord! 

Lord, thank you for providing for Forerunner. Thank you for looking after us and guiding us. We praise Your Name and are grateful the we have the opportunity to join You as You transform lives here in our Lake Highlands neighborhood. More of You Lord. Less of us.

So what’s next?

Allow me to take the time to tell you exactly what we believe the Lord has called Forerunner Mentoring Program to for the 2017-2018 school year.

Here we go.

K-2nd Grade Foundations Program

We are starting our Foundations Program next fall at Skyview Elementary. The vision behind this program is to equip our Forerunners with a strong academic foundation so they can fulfill their potential academically. We will focus primarily on literacy, as we believe that reading is the foundation of a quality education. This is important because we believe a good education is the best way to give our Forerunners opportunities to provide themselves and their future families with a way to escape poverty. We can all agree that being poor is hard. We want to give our students the opportunity for their children to not be poor.

Why is reading important? Well…

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 53 percent of children aged 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member. Children in families with incomes below the poverty line are less likely to be read aloud to everyday than are children in families with incomes at or above the poverty line.

According to the Department of Justice, 21 million Americans can't read at all, 45 million are marginally illiterate and one-fifth of high school graduates can't read their diplomas. 

According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, nearly half of America's adults are poor readers, or "functionally illiterate." They can't carry out simply tasks like balancing check books, reading drug labels or writing essays for a job. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems. 

We believe reading is important because it gives our Forerunners new opportunities through education and helps them fulfill their God-given potential.

7th-8th Grade Development Program

We are starting our Forerunner Development Program next fall at Lake Highlands Junior High. The vision behind this program is to equip our Forerunners through a program that will help develop them into Godly men who will have the opportunity to lead themselves, their peers, and their family. We believe that transition is hard and the transition from elementary school to junior high school is no different. We want to be there to help our Forerunners figure out how to attend 7 classes, go to tutoring, stay organized, study in advance, prioritize, and deal with all that comes with turning into a teenager. We also believe that junior high is a formative period where most kids pick which path they are going to follow. We are excited about the opportunity to guide our Forerunners and help them choose a path that is going to lead to life and life to the fullest.

Forerunner Family

We have a logo. It's official. We are changing the name of our Single Mother’s Ministry to Forerunner Family. After all, we are a family here at Forerunner. The vision behind this program is to help our mothers flourish. The word flourish means to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment. That is exactly what Forerunner wants to see from our single mothers. We want them to grow. We want them to be the best versions of themselves so they can best serve their families. We will do this by doing three things:

  • Building relationships through our Forerunner Family Dinners.
  • Showing our mothers worth and value through our Mom Getaway Days. This is where our Forerunner moms take the morning to rest and relax while Forerunner takes the kids on a fun adventure.
  • Equipping our mothers through our Forerunner classes. We will have two classes, one in the fall and one in the spring, where we give our moms the opportunity to learn something new. 

So those are the things that are next for Forerunner Mentoring in 2017-2018.

I look back at what the Lord has done through Forerunner and I am amazed. I look forward at the plans that are in place for next year and I am excited, nervous, and terrified all at the same time.

Lord, you’ve brought us this far. Please continue to be faithful and let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Being a defender to the fatherless.

Serving the modern-day widow

Putting the lonely in families

Lord, that’s what you’re about. That’s what we are about too.

We want lives to be transformed. We want our young boys to grow up to be Godly husbands, fathers, and leaders in their community. I think the plans above will allow the Lord to do that. 

We are thankful. Thankful to the Lord. Thankful to our supporters and our volunteers. Thankful for you reading this and, most of all, thankful to have an opportunity to help bring his Kingdom to Lake Highlands.  

We’re in this together. Forerunner Family.

Let’s see what happens next…


Zachary GarzaComment