Dear Moody Church Family Member,
Some dreams are years in the making. The good ones are worth the wait. As By The Hand opened their sixth site this past April, once again they saw God’s providence and faithfulness in action—just as they experienced in 2001 when The Moody Church said “yes” to starting By The Hand Club. Here they are 22 years later, with over 7,000 kids served across six sites, in four of Chicago’s most under-resourced neighborhoods.
This year they celebrated the ribbon cutting and opening of their 10-acre North Austin campus, which is a partnership with Grace and Peace Church and Intentional Sports. Situated on 30,000 square feet of the campus, By The Hand Club serves 400 new students from kindergarten through 12th grade. As a bilingual site, they are now able to serve Latino children in the North Austin community. After years of praying, planning, and building, this dream has become a reality.
Two miles south of this new campus, By The Hand added 90 new students this year at Moving Everest, their innovative school-plus-after-school partnership in Austin. Moving Everest is now serving 810 K–8th grade students, preparing them for a top-rated high school, which is the next step to college and career.
Cultivating entrepreneurship is a central focus for By The Hand as they train their high school students to become leaders. As you may recall, in 2020 By The Hand bought a liquor store and knocked it down so that their teens could start Austin Harvest, a fresh food market that brought hope and healing to the food desert in Austin. They look forward to transitioning Austin Harvest from a pop-up market to a year-round brick and mortar store by the end of summer.
In Altgeld, one of the nation’s largest food deserts, the Gil and Marlene Bowen Food and Nutrition Center is opening this year. It offers indoor aeroponic tower gardens where children are learning about nutrition and growing healthy food. This summer the high schoolers are also launching a high-tech freight farm to grow 40 acres of food in one freight shipping container customized for this purpose.
By The Hand continues to see amazing results in the lives of their kids. For the ‘21–’22 school year, 100% of their seniors graduated from high school; of those graduates, 67% started higher education, and 84% said they trust and follow Jesus! After By The Hand taught Evangelism Explosion this school year, 258 students professed faith in Christ. Praise God!
Please pray for By The Hand as they seek to fill staffing positions. By The Hand is also always looking for volunteers; if you’re interested in serving, visit bythehand.org/volunteer.
We are so grateful for the ways in which God has used By The Hand Club over the last 22 years and praise the Lord for our partnership with them. Thank you for helping this dream become a reality.
To God be the glory,
Bill Van Tuinen
Pastor of Global Outreach and Stewardship
P.S. Do you have questions about giving, stewardship, or estate planning? Email me at email@example.com. I’d love to chat with you!