We have arrived at the end of the year and I want to share some highlights from 2015. As a partner of BridgeBuilders, we want you to be blessed by the many things that God has and continues to accomplish through this ministry. This past year saw a multitude of organizational and strategic changes to the ministry that promise to make us more effective and use our donor’s dollars more efficiently. These began with the development and implementation of our first-ever Strategic Plan!
In an effort to concentrate the organization’s resources we chose to focus our efforts on Dallas and San Antonio, where we are already well established and the need remains severe. This, along with other streamlining efforts, yielded an annual budget savings of over one million dollars.
In addition, we reorganized our many programs around a common strategy of becoming urban missionaries who focus on the restoration of four relationships essential to human flourishing: man to God, man to himself, man to man, and man to creation (cf. Genesis 3:8-12, 17).
By focusing on these, we were able to advance our progress in restoring people to the image of God, break the cycle of generational poverty, and refine our programming by establishing clearly identifiable goals in every area.
Today, our programming works in concert to move people from the initial point of missionary contact in the community, to making disciples on the farm, on through to life skills and job training, and eventually into full-time employment. This list is not exhaustive, but represents some of the significant things God has done in and through BridgeBuilders in 2015.
*This past year also celebrated the launch of Bonton Motor-Works, a subsidiary of The Good-Works Company, which we began for the purpose of incubating and developing for-profit businesses that both solve a problem in the community and create jobs. Today Bonton Motor-Works offers South Dallas residents access to affordable transportation, without suffering predatory lending practices common in these communities.
*Laura Fechner took on the much needed task of launching our Women’s Ministry program, which aims to serve the many, and often desperate, needs of the women of Bonton. Through weekly Bible studies, game nights, and a mom’s booster club, Laura mentors these precious women into maturing faith.
*We were also blessed to receive a large grant from The Crystal Charity Ball, which will enable us to expand our youth sports program, Crossover Athletics, creating a healthy, Christ-centered platform for physical, spiritual, and emotional development of South Dallas children.
*Bonton Farms, which provides a healthy food alternative in South Dallas, as well as a powerful context for life-on-life discipleship, achieved unprecedented local and national acclaim from countless news and media outlets. God was glorified and many Christians around the country were motivated to act on behalf of the poor in their own communities.
*Hundreds of low-income neighbors were served through our new Bridges of Hope program, which employs a detailed needs assessment and connects those in need with everything from transitional housing and short-term transportation, to life skills development, employment training, and jobs.
*BridgeBuilders received a number of awards and recognition for its work in the area of poverty alleviation, including the “Curricular Community Partner of the Year” by Dallas Baptist University, for our role in educating their students on effective urban missions.
*After years of partnering with other organizations, we made the decision to further our Strategic Plan through our own unique after-school program. Each school day, approximately 60 children meet in Bonton at H.I.S. Kids After-School Program, receiving a meal, help with homework, and a safe environment to learn and flourish.
*Reached our special year-end fundraising goal of $450,000.
In summary, we believe the Lord is giving us the wisdom and understanding necessary to break the cycle of poverty among families within a single generation. We are seeing it happen! Your support has helped us thus far and I am asking you to continue supporting this mission with your finances and prayers.
Join with us to insure that “there will be no poor among us,” to the glory of God and the welfare of our city!