Written by MayBell Developments – December 30th, 2021
2021 was a long and difficult year for many people living in Regina. The Covid-19 pandemic has continued to wreak havoc on communities as it forces many families out of work and into poverty, creates a divide among friends and family as they make personal medical decisions, and keeps us largely isolated from one another. We are all feeling the pull of our sinful world, away from God’s loving, relationship-centred ideal and forcefully towards a world of self-centred isolation. It is clear that the world as we know it is not how it is meant to be. Yet through all this turmoil, we have seen growth. We have seen people pushing for relationship, creatively reaching out to embrace others in every way possible.
Some of you reading this have been following along with MayBell for many years and some of you are new to our community. We are so excited that you are all walking this path together with us!
In January MayBell began negotiating a Commercial Lease Agreement with Trinity Lutheran Church in Regina. The Lord clearly spoke and led us to this partnership which will allow us to expand our programming for those experiencing poverty and homelessness.
We wrapped up a very successful Knit-a-thon event!
On April 18th MayBell Developments and Trinity Lutheran Church signed the Lease Agreement which takes effect May 1st. Over the summer MayBell will use this space to hold our monthly meetings and support Trinity’s ministry with our rent payments. Thank you to all of you who have made leasing this space a reality! You are benefiting not only MayBell’s programming but also the surrounding Heritage community and the ministries of Trinity.
Trinity Lutheran Chairperson, Lara Janzen, and MayBell Developments President, Victoria Aspinall, sign the Commercial Lease Agreement on April 18th, 2021.
We celebrated the graduation of another group of Faith & Finance participants! Two students graduated plus one honorary graduation through our partnership with Soul’s Harbour Regina. We are so grateful to have partnered with Soul’s Harbour for the past 3 years and to be an essential part of their programming cycle. It is truly a blessing from the Lord!
John Robinson and Leif Sauder of Robinson Residential donated their services to create a beautiful design for our social housing development. Their talents went above and beyond our expectations and the end product was six duplexes that will aesthetically complement the Heritage community and provide housing at 30% of each household’s income for 12 single mothers and their families. We can’t wait to continue working with Robinson to develop the construction plans and bring the project to completion!
Planning also began for the childcare centre which will provide 50 spaces including 9 infant spaces. The most exciting part of July was a Spirit-led brainstorming session at our board meeting which led to the fully-supported naming of our housing and childcare initiatives. Lilium Village comes from the biological term for a Lily flower and symbolizes strength and transformation, the perfect image of the women living at Lilium!
Faith & Finances began our semester running two classes, one at Soul’s Harbour with four participants and one at MayBell Hall with four participants. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve those living in the Heritage Community with our financial education courses! Our Faith & Finance Allies grow deep and meaningful relationships with our Leaders and it brings us great joy to watch the bonds strengthen from the first day through to graduation.
MayBell applied for Discretionary Use through the City of Regina for both Lilium Village and Lilium Village Childcare. We continue to pray that the Lord’s Will be done through both of these initiatives. We trust that this is His plan for Regina and are praying that Regina City Council will see the benefit that Lilium can bring for so many mothers and children. Our application will be put before the council on January 19th, 2022. Please pray!
A very generous family offered to match all donations made during the month of November. We were completely overwhelmed by their generosity and the generosity of everyone who donated this month. A total of $7,786.06 was raised for the development of Lilium Village!
Two of our Soul’s Harbour students moved out of Soul’s Harbour and left the programming. The remaining two students joined our group at MayBell Hall. The group dynamic with the now six students and two allies is fabulous and always good for a laugh!
On November 30th we received a wonderful phone call from Early Learning and ChildCare that Lilium Village Childcare has been approved for the full amount of government funding including renovations, furnishings, and operating grants for 50 spaces! Lilium Village Childcare will be located in the Hall of the existing building and will provide the ONLY childcare centre in all of Heritage Regina. We can’t wait for this to open in Spring 2022!!
We had some wonderful volunteers provide a delicious meal for our last Faith & Finances class. Thank you to the ladies at Bloom Church who not only cooked for us but stayed to share in fellowship that evening. Your care meant a lot to our students and to us!
On December 9th we graduated four of our Faith & Finances students with a catered meal from Nicky’s Cafe, speeches, and framed certificates. Our highlight was most definitely meeting the families and friends of each of our graduates and hearing our grads share their accomplishments!
MayBell is grateful for our partnership with the Amazing Grace Association (AGA) in Cambodia through which we are able to run the Compassion Program. The Compassion Program provides food, clothing, school supplies, tuition, and relationship to children and elders in the Meanchey area of Phnom Penh. This has been a difficult year for families in Cambodian with many families forced into poverty and isolation as well as a major lockdown at the beginning of the year. MayBell has been able to send funds to AGA to help relieve some of the sufferings. None of this would be possible without the generous souls running AGA! Even in difficult conditions, they manage to meet the basic needs of 23 families and 12 elders each month while providing strong relationships and a connection to the local church.
At the beginning of December, we were able to finalize the paperwork that will allow MayBell to send funds to support 40 university students with scholarships for tuition and dormitory living. The funds for the Scholarship Program and Compassion Program are donated specifically to these programs and are not drawn from MayBell’s Canadian operations. Thank you to the donors who are supporting our Cambodian Programming!
As we look to the future we are praying for each one of you. We are community by community and our community of supporters means a lot to us. If you need prayer for anything please reach out to us, we’d love to go to the Lord for you.
May the Lord God bless you and your family in 2022!
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