December 2016

 

Now that we are only getting around to writing a newsletter once a year, here are just a few details of life in 2016 for our family.

Our ministry here:

We are on the cusp of completing our third year as Family Teachers (a.k.a foster parents) at Thornwell Home for Children in Clinton, South Carolina. We have now fostered 38 kids in our time. Most of those children have returned to their family and only about 5 or 6 have left in adoption. They have stayed with us anywhere from a weekend to 2+ years. It has been a trying year here in this ministry, but God is faithful to send us glimmers of hope when we think we can't go on. Stirring up a spirit of gratefulness and reminding ourselves of all that we do have is paramount to keep ourselves going in God's direction. But we all know sometimes you just long for a tangible reminder that He is still in it with you – something specific and detailed with your name on it, like Hope's notes on our pillows or Kenedie's extreme generosity and love or Everett's willingness to clean up after a sick child one more time that day. The ability to step away and take time off from fostering helps us to maintain. The respite we get is unique to fostering privately in your own home.

Kenedie is still going strong in her homeschool studies. She is in 10th grade working at the Thornwell 4K program serving breakfast and cleaning up every morning. She gets up at 5:30 on the weekdays to start school, then goes to work, then comes home to finish her studies. She continues to volunteer at a local Equestrian therapeutic riding program and is involved in one of our local church youth groups. It is hard, but so encouraging and a great source of joy to see her grow up. We talk regularly about her future plans for college and helping her get there. She is going to continue to impact the world in ways beyond what we dream and hope for her because her faith is strong.

Hope loves life and we love doing life with her. She is in the 6th grade and I continue to homeschool her as well. She is moving into independent study and I see the fruits of our hard work and endurance paying off. Her interests lean toward music and art. She just finished up her last season of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and is mulling over what series to start next. I am trying to influence her in “I love Lucy”. I love finding her playing on the floor in one of the kid's rooms or mothering one of the little ones. She finds it frustrating that the kids don't respond to her instructions the same as mine and Everett's. I told her not to worry, in time, she will have her opportunity. Kenedie and Hope continue to be a strong support to us in this ministry. We honestly couldn't do it and I hope wouldn't do it without their support. We respect and try to be sensitive to all this requires of them.

We are just a day out of finishing a 5 week shift. We covered maternity leave for our sweet friends and team mates. We enjoyed Thanksgiving in the cottage and all the festivities and outings with our cottage kids that led up to Christmas, but I am longing for our secluded Christmas cabin getaway that we start tomorrow. That is the respite that I spoke of prior. We love these kids, but have to take a break and just be a family of 4 again. My mind and heart are exhausted.

Our ministry there:

It has been 4 years now since we physically left Quinta Betel. It will never leave our hearts. If you have been there you know exactly what I mean. There has never been a place that we have lived or visited that made such a deep impression like that. It has to be because of the depth and sincerity of the love and hope there.

Everett was able to go down in May with just a few good men to manage a bathroom remodel in the girl's home. They were able to expand the bathroom and make it more practical for the amount of girls that need to use it at once.

Mario and Marta continue to serve QB with all the love and commitment that we know them for. Although they are in their retirement years nothing short of death could pull them away. They are faithful to pray over the challenges they face and patient to wait on God to answer.

We are able to continue to provide $1,000 of monthly support to them because the generosity of support continues. QB has only every received, on average, $33 a month from the government to support them in their care. We have seen first hand from living there that this doesn't come close to meeting all the needs. They give the kids there what they would give their own biological kids. It may not seem like anything luxurious to many, but it is a noticeable difference in what the government run homes can provide there.

We never petition and ask anyone to give or do anything we wouldn't or don't do ourselves. Missions is still very much at the core of our hearts. We have met a goal of supporting at least one missionary on every continent outside of Antarctica. We believe we are on the mission field still in our own home land. It is a state of living, thinking, and doing. It is the act of knowing God and making him known, wherever you are. You don't have to leave where you are to be a missionary, some do, some will, but leave your old way of thinking. I think God had to take us out of our comfort zone and send us on some far off adventures to gain that perspective, but we lost nothing and gained everything!

We love you all and we are grateful for your love and support. Merry Christmas and a very happy new year!

The Conaways

December 2015

Our ministry here:

As this year comes to a close we have embraced, loved, and nurtured 20 children now in foster care during our 2 years of ministry at Thornwell.  It does not get any easier to let them go as time goes on.  It can actually be quite heartbreaking to let them go into adoption or another placement. It is quite painful and nerve racking when we do not like the situation we have to let them go back into. But this I know, we are in their lives for a reason and we have a lot to do in a short amount of time.  We are called to love, serve, protect, respect and most of all cover them in prayer while we have them.  We teach them and show them the love of Christ.  We give them reasons to trust again.  We look for ways to create meaningful memories for them, although most of them are so young that I think there is way more we will remember than they will.  We instill safe boundaries and routines so they feel protected and know what is coming.  But we are not their parents and there are times when we are reminded that there is only so much we can do.  But I know that my voice counts to who matters the most and who can do everything that I can’t, so the most important gift we give these kids is our prayers.  Every night before we tuck them in we pray with them individually.  Every morning before we wake them up we pray for grace and strength to face the day head on.  Then throughout the day we maintain the intercession because there is more to tackle in one day than we can ever handle on our own without any surprises to our schedule.  


Our ministry there:  

Our year started out on a high note with our family trip to Quinta Betel in late January.  We celebrated Mario’s 70th birthday in full Argentine style.  There was a full spread of the best Argentine asado, a mariachi band, fun and laughter under the canopy of a beautiful summer’s night.  It was a celebration that promised to go on until the break of dawn but a 3:00 a.m.shower sent the large crowd scattering to their cars.  It was a mixture of work and fellowship for sure.  The third children’s home,that was started on a six week missions trip in the fall of 2013, was at 90% completion at the end of this trip.  We were able to leave the funds for the final touches and it was completed shortly after we left.  The third home opened for ministry in the fall of 2015.  Quinta Betel has seen their share of change in this year as some of our beloved and cherished children and workers have moved on.  Noelia and Yanina, were house moms serving in the girl’s home; and Miryam, a part-time helper in the boys home have followed their hearts in serving in new ministries outside of Quinta Betel.  But as always, no void is left too long and they pray in new laborers for the harvest.  There is a new family serving in the newly finished home and they are a family who began serving Quinta Betel long before they moved on property.


Our family:

We are a force to behold! We take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ together in this crazy life we live.  We take a deep breathe and go on duty and exhale a week later as we go off duty.  As appealing as that sounds we wouldn’t have it any other way right now and if you don’t believe me you can ask anyone of them yourself.  We check in with each other regularly and ask “how are you doing?” We love these kids.  We take the good with the bad and find the joy in the midst of the trials.  This life is teaching us more and more valuable lessons every day.  One of those lessons  is the difference between joy and happiness.  Happiness is fleeting, but joy is deeper and comes upon you even in hardships.  Do you know the difference and is the joy of  (knowing and remaining in) the Lord your strength?

Kenedie: Somehow Kenedie wound up in 9th grade this year.  She is still volunteering in our local therapeutic horse riding program, taking up guitar, fishing, reading, crocheting and keeping up with long distance friendships while building local ones.  Kenedie surpasses all of my hopes and desires for her.  She single-handedly provided 2 full Thanksgiving meals for local families with her own money and own accord.  I have never experienced her excitement to go shopping and especially for groceries as I did this past Thanksgiving.


Hope: In as much as I could stop Kenedie from progressing into high school I could not halt Hope’s final elementary year; 5th grade. She gave local theater a try this fall and loved it.  She is hoping to give it another shot this spring.  Hope is willing to try new things I will give her that.  Hope is a budding pianist as well, taking lessons from dad in between his other music students.  She has taken up quite a love for reading as well and has no difficulty making new friends.  She is a social butterfly who finds it easier and easier to venture out of mom and dad’s reach.  


I must confess that life has us wrapped up more than in times past and I do not write newsletters as often as I did when we had one less ministry, but somehow I think you understand.  It is because of you that we can give away so much of ourselves.  We stepped away from Quinta Betel physically because of necessity and it caused us and them to grow in new ways.  World Hope Outreach continues to support Quinta Betel at $1,000 a month because of your faithful and generous support and the Lord’s favor.  We support Thornwell in our time, talents, experience and labor.  You in turn support us with your love, prayers and offerings that keep all of these ministries thriving.


Who knows what this year will bring? We can count on challenges, joys, sorrows, and change at the very least.  Our lives are a great journey that will ultimately leave a legacy.  The greatest legacy I can leave is that I pointed as many people as possible to Christ by how I lived mine.  My faith will speak the loudest by how I weathered the trials more than how well I lived through the placid times in my life.  I don’t have to summon the tempest, I know it will come.  But when it comes I know there is opportunity in it to build upon my legacy.


Thank you for another year of standing with us in building His kingdom.  Not my will, but yours be done oh Lord.  And if I may add, come quickly.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family to yours,

Everett, Marcy, Kenedie and Hope Conaway


P.S.- we moved from one side of the campus to another in May so please make note of our new address.  We are now at 204 W. Centennial Street, Clinton, S.C. 29325.

December 2014

 

Our ministry here:  

We have been living and serving at Thornwell Home for Children in Clinton, South Carolina for a full year now.  We have been through all the holidays, school events, sickness, woes, and joys that taking care of six toddlers could bring in one year……...and we survived and loved it (mostly).  We have seen three of our kids leave in adoption, one move on to an older cottage and now one being reunified with his family.  These children have grown very near and dear to our hearts and it keeps us praying for their futures.  They make us laugh and they make us cry.  There’s more laughing than crying though.  Here’s a few recent quotes from our Stewart kids that made us laugh:

“I can’t know”

I’m thankful for……..”casseroles”

“Mrs. Marcy, I’m done, get your gloves on and come wipe me”

“Mrs. Marcy, you should put it in the refrigerator and make him eat it for breakfast” (referring to someone’s green beans)

Our ministry there: 

At this time next month we will be getting ready to pack our bags to fly to Argentina. Our main focus is one of celebration! People from near and far will gather to celebrate (Argentines know how to celebrate!) and honor Mario on his birthday. Mario and his wife Marta are the faithful directors of Quinta Betel. Mario will be 70 years old. He has managed to squeeze two lifetimes of service and love into those 70 years.

While we are there we will also host a team to work on the house that we started last year. We will be building interior walls, laying tile, and installing wiring for the electricity. We are so excited about the completion of this project. This house will be a home for kids who have no home. It will expand the capacity of children that can live at Quinta Betel.  Quinta Betel is a children’s home where kids encounter love, compassion, and a family environment that is safe and nurturing. For more information about Quinta Betel click here. If you would like to see photos of the new house from last years trip click here. Maybe you would like to find information about our upcoming trip- click here. If you would like to help us financially to raise the remaining $3,000 for our $15,000 goal for building materials please click here.

Our Family:

My family continues to amaze me and I am so thankful for them.  They once again have proven that there is nothing we cannot do together as a family united in Christ.  Kenedie and Hope have welcomed the opportunity to be big sisters in Stewart cottage.  They have each formed unique bonds with all of the kids and are ready and willing to help and are always at our sides.  Honestly, they are a big reason for our success as Family Teachers.  They are selfless, understanding and compassionate young ladies who know how to serve.  We will often find them pitching in to serve us by cleaning the kitchen, helping with bedtime, keeping a child entertained or tending to someone who is not feeling well.  All of this while keeping up with their own studies, chores and extracurricular activities.

Kenedie is 14 and in the 8th grade this year.  She has taken on a very challenging and demanding year of homeschool with a 7 to 9 hour day 5 days a week.  I was ready to throw in the towel (if there was one to throw in).  But she rose to the challenge and is acing her courses.  I am so proud of her diligence and determination.  She has managed to find time to volunteer in a local therapeutic horse program for kids with disabilities.  Kenedie’s love for animals and nurturing spirit has her looking to study a program in agricultural science and she has a desire to live and work in Africa.

Hope leaves plenty of room for boasting as well.  She is 9 and in the 4th grade.  She is a pure joy to teach and catches on to new concepts so easily.  She is a star student as well and aims high like her sister.  She is not sure if she wants to be a fashion designer or a teacher, but she has high ambitions of moving to Paris.  She leaves us the sweetest notes on our pillows, especially after she knows we had a trying day.

We pray you are enjoying this holiday season and that your hope is renewed by the very special meaning that Christmas holds.

Thank you and God bless,

Everett, Marcy, Kenedie, and Hope Conaway

 

Newsletter June 2014

Like so many, I am sitting here wondering what happened to the first part of the year. It seems like just a short time ago we were enjoying some- out of character for the South- snow days. Now school is ending this week and summer activities are heating up.

As you may be aware, we now live and work in Clinton, SC. We are on staff as Family Teachers- House Parents- at Thornwell Home for Children. We have been here since January and we are loving it. We work with the little ones. We are in a cottage with six toddlers. You can see our kiddos on our cottage Facebook page here. You can also check out the Thornwell website here.

Even though God has led us to Thornwell we are still very involved with Quinta Betel. In fact we have some very exciting announcements to share with you. First, we have a new website for Quinta Betel that we hope that you find to be more relevant and informative. You can visit that website by clicking here. The other announcement is that we are heading back to Argentina in January of 2015. We will be hosting a team to continue work on Project 4.5.1. You may recall that last October we hosted 4 teams in 5 weeks to build 1 new house. We were amazed at how much we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. We saw over 4000 bricks laid, a roof put on, and windows installed in just over 2 months. You can see pictures and video from that project here. We are now looking forward to Phase 2 of this project. There is still much to be accomplished before kids will be able to move in. The electrical, plumbing, and gas need to be installed. We also need interior walls,tile on the floor, appliances, and some furniture. We are putting together a team of individuals that would like to go and work to help us wrap up some of these jobs. We also need financial support. The realization of this project is in sight, but we need people to give to help us buy materials. Like last time, we plan to do as much as we can in the time in which we will be there and then leave funds for them to hire locals to continue the work after we leave. Our goal is to raise $15,000. To see a running total of what has been raised and and to find out how you can contribute click here.

If you have any questions about how you can be a part of the mission trip in January, how to support Project 4.5.1, or even about how we went from Mendoza, Argentina to Clinton, South Carolina please feel free to email us at theconaways@mail.com. You can also learn more about World Hope Outreach by clicking here to check out our new website. We look forward to hearing from you. Have a great summer!

Thank you and God bless,

Everett, Marcy, Kenedie, and Hope Conaway

December 2013

In our last newsletter we told you about project 4.5.1 This project was the focus of our whole year. We spent most of our time and energy telling anyone that would listen about it. We set out to raise money to fund it and organized teams to make it happen. We prayed. We prepared. We worried needlessly and then we stood back and watched God bring it all together harmoniously and seamlessly like only He can.

Before this project even had a name and began to take form eighteen months ago, it started as a burden on the hearts of the directors of Quinta Betel. We had no more space to receive any more kids and there was a growing need for us to take in kids of all ages. It seemed that in the first months of 2012 we were receiving more teenage girls than any other age group. They were some really tough cases. Some of them ran away, one attempted suicide, and another had been ostricized by her family because she had HIV. The government operated teenage girl's homes were not successful and many were closing their doors, but the need still existed. Our directors were approached by a government worker about the idea of starting a teenage girls home at Quinta Betel because of positive results she had seen in so many other hard cases they had taken on at Quinta Betel. I wish you could know their hearts like we do. They lie awake at night and sometimes struggle to sleep because the needs of the children they have and could have burden them so greatly. So how could they not give the idea a chance? Everett and Mario went to work penciling out the blue prints of a new home on a napkin in Mario and Marta's kitchen eighteen months ago. We needed a lot of faith, favor and manual labor so project 4.5.1 was birthed. Four teams in five weeks to build one new house.

Honestly we did not have all the money raised that we anticipated needing for this project when Everett boarded his plane on September 26th, but we went in faith, taking God at His word and being assured this was His will. There was immediate favor given as teams began to travel. One guy was traveling with a bull float and was not charged by the airlines for his excess baggage. Everett was given a favorable exchange rate allowing us to get more for our U.S. dollars toward the project. Each team made it ahead of the projected work schedule allowing more work to be accomplished in the five weeks than could have been anticipated. And every penny that was needed to buy the supplies needed when they were needed showed up. The project was paid for as they built it including the foundation, brick walls, columns, and headers. There was enough money left over to hire a roofer that started on the roof after Everett left and doors and windows were ordered and delivered.  They will be installed when the roof is complete.

The teenage girls that are currently living at Quinta Betel are excited because they know that it will soon be their new home. They have walked in their soon to be home and have talked with excitement about what will be and how it will be. Quinta Betel will be able to offer more girls like them a safe and healthy place to call home. It thrills me to be able to do something so simple that gives them hope and excitement. Click here to see videos and photos of the construction. Project 4.5.1 is off to a fantastic start, but it is not finished yet. The house is closed in and has a roof, but we now must turn our attention to the inside. There is much we need to do to finish the inside including: building the dividing walls, installing plumbing in the bathrooms and kitchen, tiling the whole house and furnishing the house. Would you consider making a donation to help us to finish this project? We have a need of $10,000 to finish this house and provide a home for girls in need.

Our year of furlough is drawing to a close. We have had a busy but productive, satisfying and refreshing year. We have been tucked away in a supportive and caring place. We have called Siloam Missionary Homes in Snow Camp, North Carolina our home for this year. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this place. We had a fully furnished home, pastoral support and more amenities provided than at a resort. We consider ourselves blessed to have had all this provided for us. We really needed it coming off the field. If you ever come across a missionary or minister who needs a place like Siloam I encourage you to tell them about this place. You can find them online here.

We pray you have a wonderful and joyous holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Pressing on,

Everett, Marcy, Kenedie, and Hope Conaway

June 2013

 

10,000 Miles and Still Going...

     Since our last newsletter it seems like we have been in constant motion. In just 4 short months our family has traveled over 10,000 miles. We have driven from Florida to Pennsylvania and as far west as Mississippi. We have eaten our fair share of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to save time and money while on the road. Our daughters are pros at homeschooling in the car, at hotels or at whatever home we come upon along the journey. We have had some great experiences so far. While we do get weary of not having a routine or being in our own beds as the days press on, we are accomplishing what we set out to do.

     Our crazy year has rightly been described as a journey. To chronicle this journey we have been invited on a number of occasions to be interviewed on a radio program here in North Carolina. You can click here to catch up on past shows and keep checking back for future shows.

     The reason for all of the travel and the purpose of this journey is a big project that we have coming up this fall. We have entitled the project "Project 4.5.1." Which means 4 teams-5 weeks-1 home. The reason for this project is that the staff of Quinta Betel is continuously bumping up against the limitation of space. This limitation has capped the number of kids that they can help at one time. From the time that this ministry began the leadership has called Quinta Betel a "community of families." They have a dream and a vision to have more room with the goal of expanding the Quinta Betel family. This year we have journeyed more than 10,000 miles to tell everyone we can about Project 4.5.1. We set out to build work teams and to gather the funds necessary to build the new home. We are making a dent in our budget for project 4.5.1 and we now have our 4 teams for the project!  That is exciting news for everyone.

     The dates have been set and airline tickets have been purchased. In just under four months people will begin to arrive in Mendoza from all over the United States with one purpose- to build a new home for Quinta Betel. There are many team members who are taking their vacation time in order to serve for 10 days at Quinta Betel in the fall to make the dream a reality. But we are not quite there yet. We did not set out to build half a house or three-quarters of a house. We want to give them 100% of a new house, but we need more help. We lack approximately $15,000 to meet the projected cost of this new home. We are making you aware of the need in this newsletter just in case the Lord uses this as another open door. Please consider helping us with the funds needed for this project. All donations are tax-deductible and can be sent to World Hope Outreach, P.O. Box 1045, Callahan, Florida, 32011. To donate by PayPal click here. One hundred percent of your donation will be used to buy bricks, cement, steel, and to provide a safe home for a kid in need. Thank you for standing with us.

Pressing on,

Everett, Marcy, Kenedie, and Hope Conaway

Missionaries to Mendoza, Argentina

 

December 2012

 

These last six months have been a whirlwind and we are long overdue for sharing ministry and family news.  Once we returned to Argentina in late May after my surgery we literally hit the ground running.  It was a good thing and a God thing for my rest and recovery in the states because we needed our strength to immediately get back into the swing of things back at Quinta Betel.  As soon as we got back home to Argentina we got a much anticipated welcome back by our Quinta Betel family but a cold welcome back from the rodents who took up occupancy in our house while we were gone.  So after a week of evicting rodents we felt warm and comfy in our home again just before the cold set in.  Our second day home Everett was back into his school run and laying out plans for building furniture and construction projects that would surely take longer than the six months we had there before heading back to the United States for preparation of furlough, but time cannot deter a man on a mission.

So during the cold winter months Everett built cabinets for the men's dormitory and quincho kitchen (our rentable pavilion), poured the foundation for the women's dormitory, continued the kitchen expansion projects in the kid's homes, worked on his Master's of Divinity program and kept a smile on his face (most of the time).  It did help to have a short term missionary in during those winter months. We welcomed the generous help of a young Georgia Tech grad for six weeks in June and July.  Ty Rawlings decided to give forty days of his life to missions before going to work full time for GE as a nuclear engineer.  You got to love and appreciate anyone who makes the selfless sacrifices that he did and we were so glad to have his company and help.

While Everett was busy tinkering around the farm I finished up my Bachelors degree in Christian Education over those winter months while catching up on a ministry fundraiser for the coming holiday season.  I was overjoyed to follow up with my Argentine cardiologist in June and July and hear her report of my heart function after surgery.  For the first time in my life I do not have a heart murmur and have not had any irregular heart beats or anything troubling.  She was delighted at my recovery and I am feeling terrific.

We have welcomed at least fifteen new kids into Quinta Betel since early spring.  Some of those were very short term stays while others are already preparing for adoption.  Most of the new kids our directors received have been teenagers with very problematic histories.  Our house parents have been determined to love those who are hard to love and those with deep embedded anger.  We have seen dramatic results.  They are not instant and the circumstances are very difficult and challenging, but the majority of kids choose to stay because they find something here they have never had before.  We have had some runners and that is hard because we can't make them stay because of the law and because of free will.  We want to love them through the pain but they have to want to stay and receive the help that is offered.  It sounds like Salvation should be welcomed by all – but it's not and that is true even outside the walls of Quinta Betel.

Kenedie and Hope have been absolutely amazing with all the challenges we have faced in this year.  They are doing better than ever in homeschool and are glad to be stateside with our family for the holidays.  We made the journey back to the states this time with our 93 pound yellow argentine friend we affectionately call Buddy.  He is not one of the Quinta kids but is the only dear reminder we could sneak over the boarder legally as a reminder of our favorite place on earth.

We will be in Florida with family for the holidays and then will transition to North Carolina for central based housing for our 2013 furlough.  We will be traveling to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virgina and Mississippi as well as Florida this time.  I am sure there will be many more last minute routes along the way.  We are excited about sharing our BIG project with everyone.  Quinta Betel is now ready to expand even more and make room for a bigger family.  Our goal for this coming year is to raise roughly $50,000 for a third home as well as recruit teams for starting this great endeavor for the fall of 2013.  We already have three teams signed up and we are looking to take on one or two more teams.  Don't hesitate to contact us if you as an individual are interested, as a church or a few friends or family.  We will be traveling to speak to many churches about our coming project but are available for information at any time even if we are not scheduled to be at your church in the coming year.  Great things are happening at Quinta Betel and quicker than we could have imagined so if your heart is tugging about this mission I encourage you at least look into it.  

Don't forget about kid's sponsorship.  We look for sponsors of individual children or general children's fund to assist in their medical, education, operations, and basic needs.  It costs approximately $250/monthly per child to cover all the operational costs of Quinta Betel.  They receive about half of the needed support from the government and local community.  World Hope Outreach exists to help them supplement the rest of the need and treat these kids with respect, love and dignity.  The directors provide for the kids the same that they would provide for their own kids: clean clothes, good shoes, warm, wholesome meals, transportation, school materials, and medical care.  The surrounding community has donated things in the past like free hair cuts, bedding, chairs, clothes, food, free movie entrance, paid expenses to church camp, help with birthdays and other holiday gifts.  So we just want you to have an idea of how this mission exists and who contributes and what is contributed.  A window into their life.

We are so grateful to be able to do what we do and are indebted to all of you who make this possible.  For as long as the Lord enables us to do this and in whatever capacity we are able to, we will continue to choose to make a difference wherever we are.  We are slowly learning as Paul lived to be content with whatever he had and wherever he was, Phillipians 4:11-13.  May we all learn a little of this especially during this holiday season.

From our family to yours may your holiday season be filled with contentment and not because of the material gifts you receive but because you know how to be content in whatever season of life you are in because His love is enough for you.  Share His love and give hope to the world around you.  You don't have to leave your community to be a missionary.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Everett, Marcy, Kenedie, and Hope Conaway

 

 

May 2012

 

From the heart-

In our last newsletter, January 2012, we shared a personal need that our family was facing.  I was facing my second open-heart surgery for a deteriorated pulmonary valve due to my congenital heart disease.  We were under some pressing circumstances that seemed to get worse before they got better.  Our idea of having the surgery in Argentina fell through when unexpected complications arose.  We did not have a plan B.  In all honesty things got pretty scary for us until we called on the multitude for prayer and help.  What happened next was beyond our expectations.  After a few weeks of waiting we ended up on a plane bound for the United States without a definite answer but assured it would come in due time knowing we were on the right track.  We visited with two surgeons in the United States before God's plan was revealed.  I could not have imagined things would go as well as they did.  I had my open heart surgery on March 28th in Savannah, Georgia.  I loved my surgeon, his team, the CCU nurses, and the hospital.  My care could not have been any better.  It was a stress free experience and although there was pain in the recovery, it was padded with such gratefulness for all that was done to get me there and the peace from trusting in God when we couldn't see how it would end.  I can not thank you all enough for the prayers, emails, hugs, encouragement, financial support, and every other means of help you provided in our hour of need.  I have a bovine valve implant that will last for 10-15 years and my next surgery to replace it will be a lot less invasive.  Thank God for advancements and the multitude that helped us through.  I have thanked God for you over and over again and still will.

While we have been in the States for the past three months life has moved forward at Quinta Betel in an orderly fashion.  We have maintained contact with our second family almost weekly.  The kids started their new school year in early March and getting the kids to school always keeps the staff busy.  In these three short months 6 of the kids have left.  Of those 6 kids 4 have been placed in foster homes of families within the church they attend and 2 have left out in potential adoptions.  The 6 are all from the same family.  The 4 that went out to foster families were sent out in pairs.  That means two sisters went together to one home and two other sisters went together to another home.  The 2 adoptions went to seperate homes.  You may wonder how the brothers and sisters feel about being seperated and they are very happy because they still get to see each other often at church and school because they are all still in the same community.  The oldest sibling realizes how hard it would be to find the same home for all 7 of them and just wants them all to be in loving, happy, and safe Christian families.  Thankfully we are assured that the desires of her heart are being met.  We are all so happy when we can continue to see our Quinta Betel kids after they leave.

With our medical leave complete in the United States we are looking forward to going home this week.  We will depart from Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday, May 23.  Pray us home with safe travels and care.  We look forward to getting back to life at Quinta Betel.  It will give us just enough time to get the house ready for winter before the cold sets in.  We are looking forward to all the hugs we anticipate from the kids and one crazy spinning labrador whom we have missed as well.  Home is where your heart is and ours is definitely in Argentina.  We have projects that we are itching to get back to and tackle knowing it will make life a little easier at the kid's home.  We will also be updating, through pictures on facebook, of the kitchen expanisions of the children's homes that were started in Febrauary before we left.

We are also still looking for a few good men to participate in a new construction project for late September of this year.  It looks like the work project cost may be very minimal to nothing as we have been able to raise funds for it while in the states.  We just need men there to do the work.  Please contact us for further information and questions you may have.  You can reach us through facebook, everettandmarcy conaway, email- theconaways@mail.com or at 904-507-4600.

Trusting and obeying,

Everett, Marcy, Kenedie, and Hope Conaway

 

 

January 2012

 

Peter was kept in prison: but prayer (instant and earnest prayer) was made for him. - Acts 12:5

We hope this letter finds you enjoying the new hopes and desires that a new year brings. We are so thankful for all that we have been able to accomplish in 2011 with Quinta Betel because of commitments made to our ministry. We have more than normal to share with you so hang in there to the end. Our primary focus of our newsletters is the ministry. So we would like to share with you because you are such a vital part of all that has been accomplished here in Mendoza, Argentina because somehow and in some way you have sown into our ministry: by prayer, by resources, with your time and labor if you have been here on a team, by your finances and with your love.

Ministry News

Here is what has been accomplished with you in 2011:

 • Put the roof on the new camping dorm and kitchen

 • New curtains were made for girls home, boys home, the director's house, and bath houses.

 • Every child received specially tailored sheets, pillowcase and pillow for their bed.

 • A puppet theater area was created in the learning center

 • A professional ministry video was made for Quinta Betel

 • Purchased and hung doors for new dorm, kitchen and quincho

 • Electricity was run to dorm and kitchen

 • Old playground was restored

 • We got city water run to each house on the property

 • Purchased and installed windows for dorm, kitchen, and quincho

 • Tiled the camp kitchen and ran plumbing

 • 3 kids left in adoption

 • 8 new kids came in

I try to document the most significant improvements throughout the year. Some may seem very small and trivial, but every step is a step forward for us, no matter how big or small. Then of course there are the jobs of digging a new sewage drain and maintenance work that always pop up when you least expect it as well.

This year as we begin the new year with 28 kids at Quinta Betel, the most they have had since we have been here, we look forward to moving ahead with Quinta Betel with you. The first project on the agenda will be expanding the girl's and boy's home kitchen with a small team in February, which is just around the corner.

Missions Trip

We are looking for 3-4 men who would be interested in joining up with a small group of men from Pennsylvania to come to Quinta Betel for a construction project. The dates are tentatively set for September 23, 2012 - October 3, 2012. This does not have to be a trip planned through a church, but your church may be willing to help you raise the cost of your trip. We just need a few willing guys to give 10 days to a children' home. Please email us at theconaways@mail.com to get information on cost and ask any other questions you may have.

Family News

 We have something a little more serious than normal to share with you within our family news, but we covet your prayers equally at all times. As most of you know Kenedie and I (Marcy) live with a Congenital Heart Disease - Tetrollogy of Fallot. Kenedie has had 3 open heart surgeries now and lives life to the fullest with ongoing care and I myself, have had one open heart surgery at age 4 and have been maintaining well since then. One year after arriving in Argentina during a routine exam my cardiologist noticed something suspicious in my heart related to my disease. She sent me out for further testing. I went from one side of the continent to the other, Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina to arrive at an answer a year and a half later. But we know now that I must undergo my second open heart surgery to receive two valve implants. I will not test your patience by going into further detail. I will just share the most important facts.  My first appointment with the surgeon was January 19th and after I get started with the preliminary process for surgery I will have an exact date. Please help us pray for the things to fall in place smoothly.  I need to have blood donors, my valves to come in and the bill paid before they will give me a date for surgery.  The doctor told me this, It's not urgent, but it's long pass due.  I also have the reassurance that this surgeon is going to go the extra mile to see me through because he wants me around to teach English to his family when I recover. I told him if he treats me well, I'll make sure his family knows their ABC's.  The easiest way for us to update on the progress of my surgery will be through facebook, or you can email us at theconaways@mail.com or call us through  our US vonage 904-507-4600.

 "Peter was in prison awaiting his execution. The church had neither human power nor influence to save him. There was no earthly help, but there was help to be obtained by the way of heaven. They gave themselves to fervent, importunate prayer. God sent His angel, who aroused Peter from sleep and led him out through the first and second wards of the prison; and when they came to the iron gate, it opened to them of its own accord, and Peter was free." -taken from Streams in the Desert, December 30.

We believe in prayer and hold ourselves accountable to prayer for all of you. We pray for your specific needs as you entrust them to us or as the Holy spirit prompts us. The Lord challenged Everett and I about 9 months ago to set aside a day a week to pray and fast together for many needs related to our friends, family, and ministry and we have seen the fruits of that dedication. His constant reminder to me is to trust and obey.  So we press on, not just for Quinta Betel, but for an even greater journey that we all hopefully share. Onward we go through challenges and joys, strengths and weaknesses, peace and suffering until it is finished. Then we shall truly rest from all of our labor!

Thank you for bearing with us.  I am a lot more thankful tonight for God's sustaining grace. Many of us have had moments in our lives where we know that if it wasn't for God.........and I have one more of these moments to add to my life right now.

Trusting and obeying,

Everett, Marcy, Kenedie, and Hope Conaway

 

October 2011

 

In describing Bethel, a community for people with epilepsy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that “It was the gospel made visible, a fairy-tale landscape of grace, where the weak and helpless were cared for in a palpably Christian atmosphere.” Coincidentally, or maybe not, Betel is the Spanish word for Bethel. May it be said of Quinta Betel what was said about Bethel in Germany so many years ago. We have the privilege of being the contact point between the kids here and the love of Christ, of being the gospel made visible. Thank you to all that make this ministry possible. Because of your prayer, financial support and visits for work and ministry Quinta Betel is a fairy-tale landscape of grace where broken and hurting kids are healed and put back together by the hands of the one that knit them together before they took their first breath.

Quinta Betel News

We would like to express our gratitude to the team we recently hosted from Pennsylvania. With their hard work they brought us even closer to the completion of our camping facility. If you are unaware, we are in the midst of a project to build a pavilion, a kitchen, and two dorms, one for women and one for men, off of the existing bathhouse. The pavilion is complete and the men’s dorm and kitchen are only lacking a few minor details. We will soon begin digging footers for the women’s dorm. This facility will be used to help with sustainable income for the ministry of Quinta Betel. We will rent it out to church groups for camps as well as for wedding and birthday celebrations. Thank you to all that have invested time, treasure and talent in this project.

We would also like to extend our appreciation to everyone who has “adopted” one of our Quinta Betel kids. Your financial support, prayer and expressions of love through cards and such are making an eternal difference.

Conaway Family News 

In July we had a nice visit with Grandma & Pop. We had fun playing in the snow and visiting Cordoba and seeing a real life hungry, hungry hippo.

Kenedie is pushing forward into the sixth grade and Hope in the first. They are both doing great speaking Spanish. Soon they will be translating for us.

Thank you to all that support our family and make it possible to live and work here at Quinta Betel. We know that God has placed us here and we know that he uses you to keep us here.

The Conaways

 

June 2011

 

Jesuit theologian Gerard Hughs said "Luggage is for the journey, not the journey for the luggage."

The ministry of Quinta Betel has one overarching goal. That is to receive kids that others have rejected. To love kids that have not experienced love or have been given a perversion of love. To teach them that their luggage- their past, their hurt, their story- is for their journey, not the other way around. To teach them that their luggage does not define them, does not determine their journey.

For eleven years Quinta Betel has provided a home and a refuge for these little travelers to get a new map, a new journey. We have had the privilege to see first hand what the power of the Holy Spirit can do in these lives. Now you can too! Through his amazing gift of story telling, Mauricio Belgrano has opened a window into the very heart of this ministry. We are pleased to present to you, from Name Sake Pictures the short film "Quinta Betel".

We need your help

Today is the first day of winter and even though the cold temperatures tempt us to not think of summer, the fact is that summer will be here sooner than it seems. One of the ways that we hope to build up support for Quinta Betel is from self sustaining business. We are building our camp area where we host summer camps, church & school events and family gatherings. The fees that are paid to rent the camping facilities help to undergird the operation cost of this ministry.

Here is where we need your help. Our pavilion or Quincho (photo on the right) as well as the dorm and kitchen are in need of windows. As you can see from the photo the windows are huge and there are 14 in all. We have a price from a carpenter of $150 each.

Sponsor a Child

We would like to thank all of you that have made the decision to sponsor one of the children here at Quinta Betel. Our goal is to have each child sponsored at $100 per month. That support is for food, clothing,medical, schooling, etc. There is no minimum amount for monthly support.

Only by your prayer and selfless giving are we able to be here and see futures changed by the power of a loving God. Thank you for all that you do to make it possible.

The Conaways

 

March 2011

 

"Autumn, the year's last, lovliest smile."  – William Cullen    Bryant

   

I miss the smells of fall in the states.  The air always had a crisp, light woodsy fragrance to it.  The air was just cool enough in the evening to warrant leaving the windows open, putting on a light sweater and burning my favorite pumkin spice Yankee candle.

How the seasons seem to flee so much faster every time I write.  I should tell you of the things that have happened over these carefree summer months.  This has been one of those summers that you can't wait to tell your new teacher and friends about being sure that it will out do most of the other kids summer adventures.

Beach Trip

The summer at Quinta Betel could not have started out any better.  It was as if someone had applied to the Make-A-Wish foundation on our behalf and we got picked.  Through some series of unexplainable events our kids and adults received an all expensed paid trip to the beach through the government.  Most of our kids do not leave Quinta Betel except to go to school, church and doctors appointments.  So traveling on a private charter bus for 17 hours across the country to the beach was a big deal and they were giddy about it for months.  They enjoyed 5 nights at a very nice hotel on the beach and all of their meals were included.  Mario, our director, said that they ate like kings and queens the whole time.  For most of our kids it was the first time they had ever seen the ocean.  While they were away on their magical summer vacation Everett and I took care of the property and worked feverishly to renovate the pool just in time for a Christmas present.  Everett was covered in blue paint from head to toe for days and through this we found out that our Argentine friends knew what smurfs were.

Summer Camp

Summer is a time for camps at Quinta Betel.  We hosted several more camps this year on our property.  These are mostly church camps that rent our facilites for the week or weekend and in return it brings in revenue that we hope will continue to help provide for the needs at Quinta Betel.  As more construction is completed on our camping side we will have more to offer the community and hopes of generating higher revenue.

   In addtion to hosting youth camps here at Quinta Betel almost all of our kids with the exception of the toddlers were able to attend our local church's children and youth camps off premises this year.  Through the generous donations of supporters and help of godparents the funds were raised for our kids to go to camp.  It was a power packed extended weekend for them to grow in their relationship with the Lord.

Diego & Tamara

Over the summer we welcomed two new young teens to our family at Quinta Betel.  Diego came to us just after Christmas.  He is 14 and an only child.  Since coming to  Quinta Betel he has learned to ride a bike, is taking up piano lessons and developed an interest in soccer.  He has been a perfect fit at Quinta Betel and has become a friend to all.  Tamara is our young lady that came to us in mid-January and she is also 14.  Tamara is the oldest of her siblings, but she is the only one of them who is currently living with us here. Both of them were baptized just last weekend.

Missions Team

Just before summer break came to a close for our kids we had one last excitement to enjoy.  We hosted a team of men and women from various parts of the United States.  The core of this team has been coming to Quinta Betel and ministering here in children's ministry and construction projects for more than a decade.  We received 11 new singer sewing machines that were donated through this team.  One team of ladies worked on sewing projects for the homes and with the kids while another group of ladies held craft workshops everyday in the quincho with the rest of the kids.  It was another summer camp of sorts for our kids.  The men worked on putting a roof on our new camp dormitory and kitchen.  Although we worked hard those 9 days we still had time for a lot of laughs and very special moments praying for one another.  It was a therapeutic week for everyone.  

Sponsor a Child

We would like to thank all of you that have made the decision to sponsor one of the children here at Quinta Betel. Our goal is to have each child sponsored at $100 per month. That support is for food, clothing,medical, schooling, etc. There is no minimum amount for monthly support.

Only by your prayer and selfless giving are we able to be here and see futures changed by the power of a loving God. Thank you for all that you do to make it possible.

The Conaways

 

October 2010

 

It hardly seems possible that we are closing in on the end of the year.  Even more unusual is that we are enjoying the newness and beauty that spring brings while our family and friends are enjoying the robust colors of red, orange, yellow and brown that fall brings.  I enjoy living where there are actually four seasons in a year instead of the nine months of hot and humid that Florida offers.  Well there is a greater purpose to this newsletter than just talking about the weather as if we were older folks sitting on the front porch sipping tea with nothing better to do to pass the time.  What has happened since we last talked?

Callahan Team

We had the pleasure of hosting our home church from Crossroads Family Worship Center in Callahan, Florida during the end of July.   Our pastor, along with nine other friends from our church came to Quinta Betel to begin the construction of a new dormitory that will be used on the camping side of our property, as well as an adjoined kitchen.  They also poured the floor to our new quincho which also turned out to be a grueling task due to snow flurries and a mishap with the cement truck.  But what mission trip would be complete without some unexpected hang-ups.  They persevered and got the job done and we are so thankful and blessed for their hard work.  After our church left Mario and Everett picked up where they left off and added the brick walls to the buildings.  So now we are ready to add a roof and a new team for that project- God willing!

Container Arrives!!!

After our church left at the beginning of August we had a reason to be overly excited because our container was finally on its way to us and was scheduled to arrive in Mendoza in mid-August.  After the arduos interagation at customs and the unpacking of every item in our container it made it to our house.  On August 24th to be exact.  It was like a momumental Christmas day for us.  We stayed busy for three weeks unpacking and it was fun to find treasures that we had long forgotten were packed away in this giant capsule for the future.  I took great care and time ordering each room and putting things in place just like I had imagined it.  I set up the girls room first so that they could have much to marvel at and keep them busy while I continued the task of the rest of the house.  It worked!  Hope was beside herself with all of her “new” toys that came alive with her imagination.  Kenedie's prized possesion was her book collection.  She sat in her reading corner and read book after book until her eyes became so strained that she had to stop-but for a brief moment.  She shares her love of reading with her daddy because Everett's books were the first thing he went for to unpack and get on the living room shelves before the sun went down on the first night our container arrived.  I was elated to finally have my own bed.  After the three week marathon of unpacking I could have stayed in it for days.  It brought me much comfort.  After our own things were in place I joyfully attacked the contents for the children's home.  I think we shared clothes with half of the county!

The Learning Center

Last but not least we finished it!  The Learning Center that is and it is so beautiful and fun.  It is so nice to start a project but my favorite part is finishing.  To stand back and see the fruit of your labor and see that something good finally came out of all those hours you invested.  The renovation began in February of this year and we dedicated it and had our open house at the end of September.  We decided the learning center needed a better name that encompassed all of the purposes it serves so with the help of the kids we have renamed it el salon de R.E.D.  RED stands for recreation, education and fun in spanish.  It is complete with a music room with instruments, a classroom, a computer room that will eventually have computers, a toy room, a puppet theater corner, ping pong table and two foosball tables.

Thank You

Only by your prayer and selfless giving are we able to be here and see futures changed by the power of a loving God. Thank you for all that you do to make it possible.

The Conaways