Mike and Dawn Menning serve with the Great Commission Utah which focuses on bringing the gospel to the people of polygamist groups.
October 9, 2018
We are back on the road again visiting with many who contribute toward tuition to Great Commission Utah Scholarship Fund. These contributors appreciate knowing first hand information about students from polygamy background attending the Intermountain Christian School (ICS) and Standpoint Idaho Christian School. Many of the students from polygamy background are recommended to us from Holding Out Help and are very much behind in their education. Some of the children coming out of polygamy homes receive placement in Christian host homes. These children add a financial challenge to their new families.
There are usually five parties involved in this process. They include, the Christian School, Holding Out Help, the student, the new guardians, and Great Commission Utah. This is how the process usually works:
- Holding Out Help calls us to tell us of the possibility for the student for recommendation to ICS
- A tuition consideration is then before Great Commission Utah
- The student is tested out to find out more about the student and what might be the student's appropriate grade level. ICS has the final say whether the student is accepted into Intermountain Christian School.
If the student is accepted -- the cost is divided three ways --
- HOH pays the cost of testing and admission
- Great Commission Utah pays the full tuition for the first year
- The guardian pays extra cost of various fees and transportation
- If the student continues at the Christian schools the guardians are asked to contribute if they are able and GCU pays the balance. Each following year we pray the host family will pay a little more of the cost.
This policy is not cast in stone and will vary depending on the finances of the host family.
Last school year, there were 12 students from polygamy background attending ICS. In the Henderson family of six students things changed over the two years. Guardianship was granted to the father. He said he would place the children in a pubic school. That remains to be seen since he has never allowed his children the privilege of education in the past. The father faces several felony charges. There is a court hearing this week to determine the future for the children - please join us in prayer, asking that the judge orders the kids back to ICS where they made amazing progress in education in the two years they attended ICS.
As of today there are six students from polygamy background in ICS. Great Commission Utah has also taken the responsibility of providing tuition for three students whose mother escaped from the FLDS Blackmore group from Bountiful British Columbia Canada. She later got her children who are now attending the Sandpoint Idaho Christian School.
Why do we feel it is so important to place the kids into a Christian school? We believe these kids who have had very little formal education have the greatest advantage of the help they need, the relationships that will give them confidence in themselves and the world around them and the opportunity to participate in all aspects of the learning experience in a smaller setting. Most of all -- the kids are exposed to the Jesus of the Bible in the love and teaching in a Christ-centered learning environment.
God has been good -- very good. God has touched the hearts of many people to help pay this tuition. We are praying for another $10,000 to complete this years cost of education for the students we are now serving, plus an additional $30,000 available for new students which could be needed as they year goes on. When the need arrives we don't want to be in a situation where we have to turn any away. If the Henderson children come back that figure could be much higher.
About 90% of the funding for the Scholarship Fund comes from our good friends in Minnesota and Iowa.
This report is just to bring you up to date on what is happening in the area of finances in the Scholarship Fund.
Last week Dawn and I left for the Midwest for another mission tour. So far we have made the need known to several couples in Minnesota and I spoke at the Prinsburg Christian Reformed Church on Sunday. Today we leave for NW Iowa where I will be touch in with several more couples. On Tuesday evening we will both be speaking at the Justice For All Annual Meeting. Dawn plans to return to Salt Lake on Wednesday. I will continue to make our needs known to many more in that area. Next Sunday morning I plan to preach in the Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Rock Valley and in Sanborn Christian Reformed Church Sunday evening. I plan to fly home next week Monday.
Please stand with us in prayer asking God to provide the funds needed to operate this ministry. Thank you and God bless!
In His service,
Marion "Mike" Menning
`1673 Parkridge Dr.
Salt Lake City, Utah 84121
Pay Pal: firstname.lastname@example.org