Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings! I pray that this letter finds you well. I am half way through my third year as a professor at Lipscomb University in the Psychology Department. This year we launched a new Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy program and I was appointed director. It is an exciting and humbling time in my life. I am grateful to God for where I am situated in life right now.
One of the most exciting things happening is that I have been invited to participate in an amazing opportunity and I want to invite you to participate with me. In the Fall of 2012, I was invited by my good friend, Nan Deal, to participate in an amazing opportunity with an organization called, Touch a Life (touchalifekids.org). This organization operates in Ghana, West Africa to rescue and care for child slaves. Child slavery is a significant problem in Ghana, where a child can be sold into slavery for as little as $20. Touch a Life partners with another amazing organization called Connor’s Song (connorssong.com) to use art and play therapy at therapeutic art center to help heal the traumas of child slavery.
Specifically, I have been asked to provide evaluation and assessment of the current clinical and mental health capacity for the care facility. Along with a highly skilled Play Therapist, Dee Kernodle, I will evaluate the level of trauma of the children in the care facility, make recommendations for immediate and long term care, and help to develop a model for care for rescued child slaves after they have been rescued and provided basic needs (food, shelter, clothing etc).
On March 15th, I will depart for Ghana with the entire trip lasting 10 days. I will join Dee Kernodle and a whole team of people with various roles. During these 10 days, I will:
· Observe operations;
· Engage with the staff and with the children;
· Consult with Dee concerning assessment and evaluation as well as developing recommendations;
· Visit Lake Volta, the place where thousands of children work as slaves
· Assess the future potential for graduate Marriage and Family Therapy students to visit Touch A Life and Connor’s Song and provide training and clinical services.
It is big task and I am honored to be invited to be a part of it. But I know that I cannot do this alone. So I am inviting you to join this effort in three important ways: Prayer Support, Financial Support, and Social Media Support. Please join with me in as many of these three ways as you can. The chart on the next page gives more details on how we can team together to benefit rescued child slaves.
The trip is being funded entirely through donations to cover travel, lodging, food, and other travel related costs (e.g. immunizations). It is estimated the total cost will be $2500. If more money is donated than is needed, all overage will go to support the work at Connor’s Song (the therapeutic art center in Kumasi, Ghana). Accounting of funds available upon request. All financial support is considered a charitable donation as Lipscomb University has not for profit status – you may deduct donations from your taxes.
I thank you in advance for your prayer support, your financial support, and your social media support.
Chris J. Gonzalez, Ph.D., LMFT
One University Park Dr.
Nashville, TN 37204
· Add me to your prayer list:
o Be prepared mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually
o Successfully accomplish the mission
· Touch A Life http://www.touchalifekids.org
· Connor’s Song http://www.connorssong.com
· Pray for the children of Ghana who are still enslaved
o Pay to order of: Lipscomb University
o Memo: Chris Gonzalez
o Mail to:
§ Lipscomb University
§ Missions Department
§ One University Park Dr.
§ Nashville, TN 37204
· CREDIT CARD / ONLINE ***Starting Jan 15th***
o STEP 1: http://www.lipscomb.edu/Missions
o STEP 2: Click on “Give to a mission trip”
o STEP 3: Fill in information and selection trip name “Ghana (Psych)”
o All amazon purchases made through my blog earn 4%. All earnings until departure will go toward the mission effort.
· “Running Away From Home” is a memoir I will publish soon on the kindle format. All proceeds (70%) help this mission effort.
Social Media Support:
· Blog: http://homefront.blogspot.com
· Facebook: friend me
· Twitter: @fajitaboy
· Youtube: youtube.com/fajitaboy1