View the Foundation’s 2020 Summary of Grants – available here!

25:40

THE REES-JONES FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER

2021 Q4
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth,
whatever you did for one of the least of
these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"


- Matthew 25:40







Merry Christmas!



How Christ's Birth Reminds Us of Hope This Holiday Season
“Who can add to Christmas?
The perfect motive is that God so loved the world.
The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son.
The only requirement is to believe in Him.
The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.”
 
Corrie Ten Boom

By Margaret Rees-Jones, Advisory Board Member

As I think about Christmas, I’m reminded of a time in 2014 when I traveled to Israel with my family to tour the Holy Land and to walk the same steps Jesus did so many years ago. The somber site of His potential burial and tomb, the saltiness of the Dead Sea, and the complex history of the Jewish people undoubtedly struck me.

But, what I recall most about the experience was the place where it is believed that Jesus was born: a manger in Bethlehem. There is a church there now, and tourists like us flock to the site every day. Visitors are shuffled in a line down to the cave-like area with a dirt floor where Mary likely labored until she laid Jesus in the manger, wrapped in cloths. What a miracle!

Surprisingly, I don’t recall the actual site of his birth moving me; rather, I was most moved by the wall of names in the entry that detailed the lineage of Jesus. I paused to read the names, the ones listed in Matthew 1 (MSG) that I so often hurry past. It goes like this:

The family tree of Jesus Christ, David’s son, Abraham’s son: Abraham had Isaac, Isaac had Jacob, Jacob had Judah and his brothers, Judah had Perez and Zerah (the mother was Tamar), Perez had Hezron, Hezron had Aram, Aram had Amminadab, Amminadab had Nahshon, Nahshon had Salmon, Salmon had Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Boaz had Obed (Ruth was the mother), Obed had Jesse, Jesse had David…

Jacob had Joseph, Mary’s husband, the Mary who gave birth to Jesus, the Jesus who was called Christ.

There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, another fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and yet another fourteen from the Babylonian exile to Christ.

I stood back, staring at the names. I couldn’t believe the specificity of it all, the weight of it: how each member of Jesus’ family was hand-chosen to represent the goodness and sovereignty of God. Jesus was born to a woman, the Virgin Mary, who married into this family, fulfilling the prophecy that a Savior from King David’s family line would forever be on the throne. I love the way The Message translation says it in Isaiah 9, long before His birth:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—light! Sunbursts of light!

For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom.

Prophesied in Isaiah, the birth of Jesus would turn the world upside-down, ushering in a new way to access the Father, to love others, to live a good, wise life, to be healed and made whole.

The word I am most drawn to in the passage of Isaiah that the translator repeats here is wholeness.

Wholeness is the opposite of brokenness. If something is whole, it is complete and perfect, nothing divided. Whether or not our families feel whole or broken to us right now, we know a God who values the institution of family, so much so, that He sent his own Son to be born and raised in a family just like our own in many respects, one that was imperfect and human.

Like us, Jesus had parents. He had brothers and cousins. And there were likely misunderstandings and conflicts in their relationships. Yet even as he experienced this human reality, His promise to us still is that He brings restoration and wholeness. In a word, He brings redemption!

What would it look like to live with this kind of hope inside of us—the Hope of Jesus?

If we truly lived with this Hope at the forefront of our minds and hearts every single day, I wonder if we would approach the holidays spent with family differently—less keeping score, more looking for the best, more forgiving, more willing to concede—this is a Love that never fails! I don’t know about you, but I want to love others with that kind of love this season, not my own unsteady, offended, conditional, and very human love.

Still, I know it is dangerously easy to look around at all the things in our lives and our world that are broken or imperfect, including our own families and even ourselves, and start to wonder where God is in the midst of it all.

It takes a whole lot of faith, hope and love to do otherwise in this world…and a good dose of courage! But, perhaps a better question we might ask ourselves is this: why would God send his Son, flesh and blood like us, a helpless baby, to a broken and hurting world? Why would He come to us, at all? John 1 (MSG) says it like this:

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.

John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”

We all live off his generous abundance, gift after gift after gift. We got the basics from Moses, and then this exuberant giving and receiving, this endless knowing and understanding—all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.

What generosity. What abundance. Ultimately, we know that Jesus coming into the world would eventually lead to His death and resurrection. His perfect sacrifice and defeat over death makes wholeness possible for us. Gift after gift after gift!

In the Gospel of John, we are reminded again of this relentless love:

“For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.” – John 3:16 (TPT)

Jesus came into this world as a perfect baby, and He left it as the perfect example of who the Father is to us—compassionate, abounding in loving-kindness, so tenderly gracious, and rich in mercy!

As we look forward to Christmas, may we celebrate the immeasurable gift of Jesus and receive all that He has for us, may we see our families with a new sense of gratitude and love, and may we revel in the fact that God loves us enough to meet us, right here, right now, even in the brokenness of this world.

Christmas Giving


Each year the Foundation contributes toward the purchase of Christmas gifts for the children residing in shelters across DFW, so that each is given the opportunity to experience joy and create memories during the holiday season.

This year the Foundation awarded $45,800 to 13 nonprofit organizations around DFW:
Dallas Leadership Foundation
Dallas Life
Denton County Friends of the Family
Family Gateway
Family Place
Genesis Women's Shelter & Services
Interfaith Family Services
Jonathan's Place
Mosaic Family Services
Presbyterian Night Shelter of Tarrant County
Rainbow Days
SafeHaven of Tarrant County
Union Gospel Mission of Fort Worth

prayers



We invite you to pray for specific needs and seek ways to take positive efforts on behalf of our non-profit partners and those living in Ethiopia during this time of uncertainty as well as our neighbors to the north in Kentucky who have sustained a tragic scale of loss.

ANNIVERSARY LOOK BACK: MERCY SHIPS

The first grant that The Rees-Jones Foundation ever made was on December 20, 2006 to Mercy Ships, a non-profit organization that deploys medical ships around the world to perform surgeries and provide medical care to children and adults who do not have access.

The initial grant was for general operations of the Africa Mercy surgical ship. The Foundation’s most recent grant was for the capital campaign for Mercy Ship’s newest vessel christened the Global Mercy, which is slated to begin duty in 2022.

"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth
into singing and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."


-Isaiah 55:12

BLOG: PREVENT HUMAN MISERY RATHER THAN AVENGE

DECEMBER – UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS MONTH

 

“When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”

– Eleanor Roosevelt, Chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights

51 countries formed the United Nations in October of 1945 following the end of World War II. After the world witnessed the horrific acts of genocide and bloodshed, the U.N. formed the Commission on Human Rights. In 1946 Eleanor Roosevelt, who spent more than a decade championing poverty alleviation and civil rights as First Lady, became the first Chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.

In 1948 the Commission created the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, which established a set of universal rights to which every human being is entitled. Although the declaration was not a binding, enforceable treaty, it served as a model for legislation in many countries.

Articles 1, 3 and 4 of the declaration relate to freedom – everyone is born free and should be treated as such, everyone has the right to live in freedom, and nobody has the right to enslave another.

As Americans, we are legally guaranteed the right to freedom through our country’s founding documents and subsequent laws. But others around the world are not entitled to these same basic human rights. Despite being law, the enforcement and protection are unequally distributed leaving the poor even more vulnerable to exploitation.

There are a number of brave organizations working around the globe to break the literal and proverbial chains of slavery – International Justice Mission, Justice Ventures International, Human Trafficking Institute – to name a few that The Rees-Jones Foundation has supported. These organizations attack slavery and bonded labor from all angles through rescue, restoration and judicial efforts. All are important aspects, but as Eleanor Roosevelt asked, when will we prevent rather than avenge?

International Justice Mission, or IJM, is one of the largest organizations in the world working to rescue, restore and protect individuals from slavery, bonded labor, and human trafficking. Its work in India, which the Foundation has supported for more than a decade, has resulted in the rescue of over 23,000 individuals. But IJM has its sights set on a more ambitious goal dubbed “2030 Vision”, which aims to rescue millions, protect half a billion, and make justice for those in poverty unstoppable.

One branch of IJM’s 2030 Vision seeks to correct the root causes of present day slavery – specifically, to protect 323 million people in India from violence by the year 2030. As an aside, India is the second most populous country with over 1.3 billion people. For perspective, there are 329.5 million people in the U.S., which means that IJM and its partners plan to protect a population almost the size of the United States.

rescue millions, protect half a billion,
and make justice for those in poverty unstoppable


KEEP READING TO SEE HOW IJM PLANS TO DO THIS

BIG WINS FROM OUR GRANTEES

HUMAN TRAFFICKING INSTITUTE

reports two traffickers in Belize were sentenced to 10 years in prison marking the country's first human trafficking conviction of the year and the first ever under Belize's Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Act of 2013

ACH CHILD & FAMILY SERVICES

celebrates its 500th adoption for the agency

BIG LIFE FOUNDATION

celebrates 30 years of wildlife conservation in the Greater Amboseli ecosystem

TEXAS SCOTTISH RITE FOR CHILDREN

celebrates its 100th anniversary

ALLIANCE FOR CHILDREN

moves into its new facility expanding its ability to serve more children and families throughout Fort Worth

NOTRE DAME SCHOOL

students selected as Volunteers of the Month at

SPCA of Texas


"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom teaching and admonishing
one another with psalms and hymns and
spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness
in your hearts to God."


-Colossians 3:16

Q4 GRANT MAKING RECAP

The Foundation awarded $16.2 million through 53 grants during Q4 (October, November, and December).

Below is a small representation of the nonprofit organizations that the Foundation humbly supported:

Alliance for Children

$350,000 | Funding for general operations, which ensures that children who have sustained abuse or neglect receive forensic interviews, counseling services, medical care, and family advocacy.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star

$150,000 | Funding to support the faith-based mentoring program.

Big Life Foundation

$75,000 | Funding to support the protection of endangered animals along the Kenya-Tanzania border.

CASA of Tarrant County

$150,000 | Funding to provide children who have been abused or neglected in Tarrant County with a Court Appointed Special Advocate.

Circle Ten Council of Boy Scouts of America

$900,000 | Multi-year funding for the maintenance and upkeep at the Trevor Rees-Jones Scout Camp.

CitySquare

$100,000 | Funding for the Transition Resource Action Center, or "TRAC" program, which provides services for youth aging out of foster care in North Texas.

Communities in Schools of North Texas

$75,000 | Funding to provide K-12 students with evidence-based, integrated support that empowers them to overcome obstacles.

CURE International

$5,600,000 | Funding for the expansion and capital improvements to the CURE Children's Hospital in Ethiopia.

Heart House

$50,000 | Funding to support the Head, Heart and Hands (H3) Program, which addresses a child’s academic, social-emotional and mental health needs while encouraging resiliency.

PLEASE NOTE: HOLIDAY OFFICE CLOSURE


The Rees-Jones Foundation offices will be closed
in observance of Christmas and New Years
beginning Friday, December 24 through Friday, December 31
with staff returning on Monday, January 3, 2022

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

for the least of these



The Rees-Jones Foundation
2020 Summary of Grants

VIEW THE 2020 SUMMARY HERE

The mission of The Rees-Jones Foundation is to serve God
by serving others, sharing His resources in ways that provide
opportunities for the disadvantaged, relief for the suffering,
and encouragement in the growth and well-being of children
and families. In so doing, the Foundation hopes that the
love of Christ is experienced in practical ways by those served.

ABOUT THE FOUNDATION'S NEWSLETTER

25:40 is a quarterly newsletter from The Rees-Jones Foundation. This newsletter is specially designed for you – our wonderful grantees! We hope that you will find the information both useful and interesting. If you would like to be added to our newsletter email list, please contact CJ Stevenson at cstevenson@rees-jonesfoundation.org.

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

– Matthew 25:40

ABOUT THE NAME | We decided to name this newsletter 25:40 after the scripture from Matthew 25, which we as a foundation, draw inspiration from in our work. Through our grant making, we seek to deliver hope, resources, and support to those in our community who are in need.

The Rees-Jones Foundation is a private foundation that works with non-profit organizations, primarily in North Texas, that provide programs that defend the welfare of children suffering from abuse or neglect, afford relief to those facing mental health challenges, provide youth with opportunities for enrichment and character development, encourage healthy families and communities, and promote the humane treatment of companion animals.

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If you would like to be added to our newsletter email list,
please contact CJ Stevenson at cstevenson@rees-jonesfoundation.org
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