OUR 2016 ANNUAL REPORT ! ..... the Report can be found here....
2017 Bethesda General Services Brochure is here.....
Celebrating 45 years as a Service Provider.
45 years ago Bethesda began its vision of serving people with disabilities. On May 13, 1971 Bethesda was officially formed by our founding parents, people with disabilities and interested others. And now, 45 years later, we are celebrating God's faithfulness in sustaining and growing that vision to create a ministry that impacts so many lives. While much has been done over the last 45 years, we remain committed to the same vision of service as our founders. Starting in Abbotsford in 1971, we now have the privilege of serving people all over BC.
Thank you for joining us at our Bethesda AGM to celebrate our 45th anniversary.
Here are some pictures to enjoy from our Photo Booth:
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DUSTIN is a charismatic young man with a zeal for life and adventure.
He has a big heart and is quick to notice the needs of others around him and lend a helping hand. He often takes the time to share a word of encouragement, a story or a laugh with others around him. He has a way of making people feel included and welcome where ever he is. Dustin's second passion is sports. Dustin competes in several Special Olympic Sports and competed Nationally in the Canada summer games that were held at UBC this past summer.
One of Dustin`s dreams is to be a `working man` so we explored several potential job sites and looked at his interests and passions. Dustin is a huge Canucks fan and so naturally the first place we looked for work was at local hockey arenas. Dustin is completing a work experience/coop program at an arena helping with maintenance and housekeeping . He looks forward to his shifts and enjoys telling his friends about all his new adventures.
Dustin takes the Handy Dart to work in the morning arriving at the arena just before 9. He heads to the lunch room and checks in with the boss. Dustin is then given a task list to complete on his 4 hour shift. Dustin comes prepared to work in the cold or the warmth. One of Dustin's important jobs is to keep the glass clean so people can watch the hockey game. If Dustin is working in the arena you will often see him wearing a toque, multiple jackets and gloves. Dustin's favorite job is using the backpack vacuum cleaner and he keeps the floors and change rooms as clean as a whistle. One of the perks of working at the arena is the Langley Rivermen's hockey team practices there and he gets to watch them while eating his lunch. Dustin knows most of the guys as he volunteers for their games with his dad. They all know him by name and he can visit with his friends. Dustin checks out with his boss at the end of the day and gets on the handy dart and takes it to Bethesda's Langley Day Services. At the end of the day he is tired but happy and looks forward to the next Wednesday.
Bethesda's Vocational Service assists willing workers to find employment and to reach their lifetime goals and dreams. Dustin was the first young man to step forward and express the desire to work. There are currently 6 people involved with Vocational Services. A support worker helps the job seeker identify their God given talents and passions and matches them with an employer's whose current business needs are not being met.
ANSWERING GOD'S CALL - A Parent's Perspective
Thank you, Bethesda, for answering God’s call to expand your outreach to individuals with physically disabilities in the mid 1980's. God has been at work and still is, in making a difference in the lives of the families who Bethesda has served and we are an example.
Even though we deal with a severe disability, God has always been faithful, provided support when needed. The families that you sent our way to help were exactly what was needed for Ken, and the experiences with them has been a blessing for him and us. Ken has had adventures that not many who have to live with a severe disability are able to have. He met with Rick Hanson, traveled to Hawaii, went on a boat cruise and has been in Disneyland twice. God always provided a Christian aide or teacher for him in the public school system, and then He allowed Ken to graduate from the Abbotsford Christian School. Ken made profession of faith in 1993, and has his own ministry. Often people are praying because of Ken. We thank God for Ken and the people He has sent along the way, for being able to support him as he grew up, for the smile on his face when we talk about the love of Jesus and the Hope that our God has given him because of Jesus. Even at recent passing of his grandmother, he smiled when we told him that his precious grandmother, was with Jesus.
Bethesda was there when Ken told us in no uncertain terms, that a group home was not for him. They were there when Ken had to make a slow transition between the families that he stayed with and provided a house where he could live with his buddy, Chris. The staff, there has always been loving and caring for Ken and Chris.
We thank Bert Altena and his team for always being there and supporting us. Thank you for your listening ear, but mostly for answering God’s call in your life to help those who cannot help themselves. You have made a big difference in the lives of a lot of people who felt alone and lost in the world of disabilities, and you have shown the love of Jesus to the world. May God bless you all as you have been a blessing.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU…..
Who take time to listen to difficult speech, for you help us be understood, if we persevere.
Who walk with us in public places and ignore the stares of strangers, for in your companionship we find havens of rest and relaxation.
A TIMELY WALK IN THE PARK
I am the proud uncle of 2 nieces and 1 nephew and one day this last October, I took my nephew for a walk to the local park. In the park we saw a big tent and several trailers that are not usually there. A lady stopped and talked to us and told us that they were filming a new season for a TV show called “Once Upon A Time in Wonderland.” She kindly offered to show us how they put makeup on actors in the tent. So after my nephew had some fun by the lake and we were on our way home, we stopped by the tent. Since the tent was too crowded inside she brought one of the actors outside, sat him in a chair and began putting makeup “mud” on his face. Then she even put some on me!
While she was doing this they noticed that I was not talking but that I was communicating with my mom and staff by moving my eyes. So they started asking us questions and we explained how I could spell using the letters on my headrest and pointing to them with my eyes. The actor was very interested and asked lots of questions. He even got tears in his eyes and he told us that his father had a stroke and could no longer talk to him. It was so hard for him to guess what his dad was trying to tell him. He was so excited that he now knew how he could communicate with his dad because his dad could still spell words.
The actor was so amazed that he got to meet us in such a “random” way. He said he was blessed to meet us. I told him that I loved to bless people because I am so blessed and happy. I have so much hope and joy because I know some day I will receive a new body in heaven.
Later the same day I went to the pool where I enjoy the warm water and talking with others. The lifeguard knows I like to listen to the Christian Praise channel. There was a boy with autism in the pool and his helper remarked how this music seemed to really calm the boy down. She thanked me for choosing that music and that made me feel good too.
It really made my day to see that I had been a blessing and given some hope to others! This makes me feel like I am important and God has a purpose for my life. This is what God has called me to do.
By Chris W.
This summer Casey pursued a new goal and planted a vegetable garden with his key-worker Kevin. Together they planted tomatoes, beans, peas, potatoes, cucumbers and squash. Casey was able to try zucchini for the first time for supper the other night. Their project has been a great success. Casey has enjoyed the backyard, spending time with staff, and reaping the rewards of a bountiful harvest.
Cayla is tickled pink being part of a great program run by Disabled Sailing Association which lets individuals experience sailing at Jericho Sailing Center.
Mephi’s Bible Study Group
We meet every second Tuesday from September to June. During our Fall sessions we studied faith lessons taken from a book called Laughing Matters by Phil Callaway. In the winter and spring, we viewed part of a video series from Focus on the Family called Faith Lessons from the Life and Ministry of Jesus.
The video series quickly became a favorite of the group as it provided a glimpse into the life and culture of Jesus framed by the teaching of biblical historian Ray Vander Laan. Each session took viewers to the Holy Land, connecting them culturally and biblically with Jesus’ life and ministry as well as with ancient Jewish culture. All of us in the group came away with a new appreciation for Scripture and how we can apply the biblical and cultural faith lessons of Jesus to our modern day cultural context. We had many great conversations together as a result. And because we enjoyed it so much, we are continuing with the remainder of the video series this Fall.
Another key piece of our times together is prayer. We love coming together to share and pray with one another, thus supporting and encouraging each other along the way. Each of us has felt blessed, comforted and encouraged by these times, experiencing the truth in Jesus’ promise that “where 2 or 3 gather in my name, there I am with them” (Mt 18:20, NIV).
All of us feel blessed to be a part of the Mephi’s Bible Study Group and we are eager for time spent together in Scripture discovery, prayer support and mutual encouragement. We are thankful for the opportunity to do so as a small group of believers!
A Registered Disability Savings Plan Might be Right for You
Families of children with disabilities have been long concerned about the care of their loved one when the family can no longer care for their child. To help address this long-term financial security need, the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) which is similar to the Registered Education Savings Plan, will allow funds to be invested tax-free until withdrawal.
To qualify for the RDSP, the individual with a disability must be Canadian and be eligible to claim the disability tax credit. Anyone can contribute to an RDSP subject to a lifetime maximum of $200,000 for the beneficiary. Other than the $200,000 limit there are no annual contribution limit restrictions. Contributions will be permitted until the end of the year in which the beneficiary attains 59 years of age. Similar to RESPs, contributions to the RDSP are non-deductible but investment income is taxed when withdrawals are made. There are other withdrawal rules that apply which you will need to know. Additionally, within British Columbia, “Persons With Disabilities” funding is not impacted by the RDSP.
To further aid the individual’s ability to save, the federal government offers the Canada Disability Savings Grant and the Canada Disability Savings Bond. Based on the individual’s contribution to his/her RDSP and his/her family’s net income, the government will contribute up to a maximum of $3,500 annually in the form of Canada Disability Savings Grants. The government will also contribute up to $1,000 annually in Canada Disability Savings Bonds depending on the net income of the beneficiary's family.
The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) can be arranged through participating banks including the Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank of Canada. Your bank advisor can explain the parameters and restrictions of the RDSP and you can also access www.rdsp.com for more information about the RDSP.
See http://www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/savings/ for information.