August Campus Update

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David, Kim and Fred

In August, we said goodbye to the Zandstra family and welcomed Fred & Kim Lucas as houseparents for our boys’ home.  The Lucas’s returned back to Shults-Lewis after a 2 year stint away.  Fred is teaching Science and Math at the school. Kim brings her creativity to campus, which the kids enjoy.  David Warren, our program director’s husband, joined our team and serves as a teacher assistant.  He brings his experience with kids from Tennessee Children’s Home.  We are excited to have three new staff aboard.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 9th for the Annual Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Festival in downtown Valparaiso.  We will be selling food and distributing brochures at this event.  Be sure to stop by and see us on the corner of Lincolnway and Lafayette Street.  What a great opportunity for us to share our mission of serving kids who face trauma!  Hope to see you there!

We are excited to welcome all our donors and visitors to campus on the 16th of September for Annual Day.  Breakfast starts at 8 am and includes the following festivities:  rummage sale, tour of campus, food and crafts, silent auction and a live auction with our very own, board member, Rick Root.

July Campus Update

In July, our staff and residents attended Brynne (age 12) & Brighton (age 9) Vermillion’s birthday party in Genoa, Illinois. Brynne and Brighton requested that donations be made to Shults-Lewis in lieu of presents. They sacrificed presents from their friends in order to support the kids at Shults-Lewis. What an awesome act of kindness and selflessness! During the party, I made a bet with Phillip Vermillion. If he donated $1000 to Shults-Lewis, I would go down the Toilet Bowl slide with my clothes on. To my amazement, a $1000 check was in the envelope with other donations. Phillip and I both accepted the challenge and rode down the Toilet Bowl Slide! Thank you to the Vermillion family for inviting us and helping to support the kids at our children’s home. It was a lot of fun!

Stephanie with Phillip and Cassie Vermillion

Day of Prayer and Giving results are in! We raised $42,719 in money to help fund capital improvements here on campus. These funds will be used to purchase the following: a zero turn mower, new computers, new floors in the bedrooms of Home 5 and 7 and seal coating the parking lots. Thank you for your generosity as we continue to serve kids and spread God’s word in their lives!

May/June Update

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In May, our staff and residents attended an end of the school year celebration with box tickets to the Railcats game courtesy of Mike and Jenn Zandstra.  For some of the residents, it was the first time to a baseball game.  Everyone enjoyed hamburgers and hotdogs at the game. Lots of screams and laughter were heard as we cheered on the Railcats.

In June, we were blessed with a visit from the Youth Group from Naperville Church of Christ.   Rusty his wife Heather brought the youth group to help do some much needed work on our campus. They did an amazing job boxing ink cartridges, weeding and mulching around the homes, cleaning out rooms, painting sheds, and much more!  Our residents enjoyed lunch with the teens from the Naperville Youth Group and interacting with them in a volleyball, basketball and foosball game. We all shared devotional time each morning as well.

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In addition, we started taking DCS (Department of Child & Family Services) public placements this month.  We are so excited to see God’s plans unfold at Shults-Lewis.

March Campus Update

The first two months of the year have been busy at Shults-Lewis! In the months of January and February we welcomed lots of new staff members!

Stephanie Balcerak stepped up to the task of balancing the work load of Director of Development and Finance! We are so grateful for her endless supply of energy and frugality.

Staci Kociara has taken on the role of case worker with ease and excitement. It has been a joy to watch the kids spending group time under her leadership and direction!

Sarah Turnmire has gladly joined the team as Executive Assistant and loves that she never knows what tasks she may have to tackle that day! A real jack of all trades!

Sadly in February we said goodbye to Kiana Baldwin as she moved on to a job more specific to her career desires. We are overjoyed for her and this opportunity, but her presence will be missed!

Jasmine Lindley has stepped into the role as Development Assistant with grace and vitality. We are so blessed to have her on staff to strengthen our admirative team!

The residents have been enjoying opportunities that the winter weather has provided them with to get outside! They are also looking to new hobbies to explore indoors!

Snowball fights
Kids building a snowman
Carlina at the library

December Campus Update

We ask you to pray for Hannah Baldwin, Joy Smith, and Jenn Swartz as they have all moved on to different chapters in their lives.  We welcome Tammy Warren, Director of Operations, to the team!

I know I keep asking you all to pray, but that’s what this ministry is all about.  Not only do we ask you to pray for our new kids for their transition, but we ask you to pray for them during the holiday season.  It is very hard for our kids during the holidays, no matter what their situation is.  As we prepare for Christmas, we thank you all for the prayers and for your donations to help make this holiday special for our kids.

I just wanted you all to know how much I have appreciated working with you. I stepped into the role as Development Director after Beth Frump passed away to help fill a void. However, it is time for me to step out. Thank you for your patience, love, and support. -Lissa Baldwin

                               Happy Holidays from the Staff and Kids at Shults-Lewis!

November Campus Update


Johnnie Coley

We cannot thank you all enough for your persistence in prayer for a new Executive Director. Johnnie Coley was hired September 1st. Johnnie came from Mt. Dora, Florida just in time to be a part of Annual Day. Johnnie has hit the ground running with social services to find more kids that would benefit from this ministry. We will have 3 more new kids by November and more in the pipeline. Continue to pray for the kids and their families as they make this next step.

We also ask that you keep the kids and their families in your prayers as we get closer to the holidays. Even though Mrs. Terhune, our Principal, and the houseparents keep the kids busy with fun activities and good food over the holidays, it is the hardest time of the year for our kids.

Thank you all for the part you play in this ministry. Thank you for sharing your blessings with us.

For the kids,

Lissa Baldwin
Development Director

June 2022 Campus Update

Hoping you all are enjoying the start of summer.
Our school closed out the year with a mini “Strengths Luncheon” to honor our kids with a STRENGTH that the staff sees most in them. We enjoyed a Mexican themed lunch and fellowship as we encouraged and honored our kids.

During this past month, we also celebrated one of our “Zero” birthdays. Don Jones was honored with a fun luncheon and cake for his 60th. Don is one of our housedads, maintenance supervisor, and commodity driver. Don is also one of our “Masters of Puns”. I frequently throw him out of my office after a string of bad puns. We appreciate all of the hard work Don does for this agency as well as being a spiritual leader for our kids.

For the kids,

Lissa Baldwin
Development Director

May 2022 Campus Update

Hello everyone!

It is so exciting to be able to have time to do the job I was hired on to do and finally send out a campus update.  The last 4 months have been the most difficult that I have had in a long time. Since the Smiths had to step out of relief houseparenting, some of the staff have had to step in and do relief for the other houseparents on top of their normal jobs until we could find their replacements. Usually, finding new houseparents can take several months up to a few years. But, about a week before the Smiths stepped down, I received a random phone call from Jimmie Banks (from Alsip, IL) who was interested in houseparenting. The rest, as they say, is history. Jimmie and Jessie Banks officially joined our team on April 11, 2022 (THAT’S MY BIRTHDAY AND GOD GAVE ME THE BEST PRESENT!!) The Banks stepped in to this ministry, they have been trained, and are now doing the relief houseparenting. Those of us staff who have been doing the relief since February are SO GRATEFUL! I had a lot of fun getting to know the Banks as they went through the training process. They are a good fit with positive attitudes and leading with Christ.

We have also been able to find someone to do counseling for our kids, which means once we get them on board, we can take more kids. YAY! We still need an English teacher and a Math teacher so that we can take even more kids. We are still looking for an Executive Director and a Program Director so that our Interim Executive Director, Irene, can move back to Texas. We need a Principal so that Vickie Terhune can go back in to retirement. We are also still looking for a Director of Operations to relieve our contracted accountant, Stephanie, who comes in 2 days a week, after her full time job, to help pay bills and do payroll. Jenn Swartz, who was hired on to be our Social Services Secretary, made a lateral move to be our Administrative Assistant again so that she could take some of the tasks off of my plate. Hannah Baldwin was kind enough to move to Social Services permanently to fill that void. But as soon as we can hire another Social Services Secretary, Development can have Hannah back. YAY!

All of this to say, some of our burden has been lifted but we are still in need of many positions, the most important being the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR and PROGRAM DIRECTOR. Keep spreading the word and keep praying for us. We love you all and thank you for all you do in keeping Shults-Lewis a safehaven for our kids.

For the kids,
Lissa Baldwin, Development Director

November Campus Update

The staff and kids had an absolute blast this last month, especially during our fall festivities during Spirit Week.  Our Principal, Vickie Terhune, had a week of fun ready for everyone which included hat day, bad hair day, nerd day, hoodie day, and costumes.  Most of the staff joined in and we had a lot of laughs as we all sat together in morning devo. Mrs. Terhune and Zip made great NERDS.  The kids wore their favorite hoodies but Stephen got crafty and wore 5 while Erik used his to be invisible.  And if you thought these kids had bad hair when they wake up each day, they looked WORSE on bad hair day.  Really, TJ?  A mask? J

Mr. Zandstra showed us all up with his mountain of hats for hat day.  Jim Haferkamp, our Maintenance Assistant, even let me have a chance to run forensics by pretending to be the victim. (What a ham!) Mrs. Terhune changed up the rules for the pumpkin decorating contest.  Instead of having each Home compete, she had each KID compete.  It was a hard choice but Stephen won!  The kids all earned prizes before trick or treating for candy through the school and the Admin building.  Until next month, have a great holiday!!

October Campus Update

Beth Frump always liked to cheer from the mountaintops (or should I say sand dunes?) when summer came around.  I, on the other hand, LOVE THE COLD WEATHER!!  But, I want to make it very clear that when I pray for snow, I pray that the snow doesn’t land on your driveways. 🙂  (I feel that’s a fair trade.)  Anyway, the weather out here in Valparaiso, Indiana is getting a little cooler as we are already into October and preparing for our Fall festivities.

This last month, we had a celebration honoring Glenn Robertson, our Maintenance Supervisor and gym teacher, since he decided to retire.  We had a nice meal and cake for him while we read fake work orders that he had to get done before we allowed him to leave.  We had many laughs before Glenn passed the wrench down to Don Jones, our housedad and maintenance assistant.  The staff and kids shared fun stories about what they remembered most about Glenn.  The kids mostly remember his tough gym classes.  But even though all the stories were funny, there was a reverberating theme.  Glenn was a positive asset to our ministry, a great male role model, and shared all he had with everyone.  But, before he left, he promised to come back and cook the hams for Annual Day. 🙂

New residents Stephen, TJ, and a young lady we will call “Barbara” joined us over the past few weeks and are doing ok.  They are slowly transitioning but need your prayers while they do so.  All the kids have been focusing on their studies and are excited to go on a field trip that Principal Vickie Terhune is in the process of planning. 

Even though we didn’t have Annual Day this year, the Bristol Road congregation in Michigan delivered a bag of new clothes for each of our residents and houseparent children.  Nine-year-old houseparent child, Kyah Zandstra, tried on all of her new clothes, looked at her mom and said, “We are so blessed.” 

We are blessed.  And we thank all of you for continuing to pray for our kids, our staff, and this ministry.  We hope you all have a beautiful month and we will keep you updated in the November Update.

Happy Fall,  The Staff at Shults-Lewis