2018 Periodic Reports

Thus Far in 2018 (27 May Report):

Direct Services

  • More than 300 hours of pastoral care and peer-led counseling provided to more than 75 veterans, 35 family members, and 15 law enforcement officials
  • More than 100 hours of animal-assisted healing at the ranch in Beasley
  • More than 20 Bibles and 50 sets of booklets/tracts provided to warriors and families
  • 16 weeks of Bible study held at SCC, with an average of 10 warriors attending
  • Five training classes provided to more than 150 law enforcement officials in Fort Bend, Baytown, and Dallas on de-escalation of combat veterans in crisis, including scenario-based exercises
  • Four days spent in Harris County Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) and two days in Fort Bend County VTC, bringing messages of hope and God’s forgiveness to the more than 100 veterans involved in the VTC court system, both felony and misdemeanor dockets
  • The virtual ministry is growing, with more than 66 posts, 89 visitors, and 151 views

Special Initiatives and Events

  • In May, two trips to Austin to advocate for trauma-impacted veterans
  • In March, hosted 12 volunteers from the University of Missouri, who provided hurricane recovery services to several of our veteran families. Thank you to SCC for housing and mentoring them!
  • In February, a suicide prevention/awareness walk by the Brazos where miniature horse “Star” met approximately 200 community members
  • In January, Romeo Llama arrived, courtesy of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. The llama had been running loose in the Kendleton area; we suspect he’s been on his own since Hurricane Harvey. We hope to eventually add Romeo to the roster of animals able to work off-site.

Relationships

  • Exploratory meeting scheduled with the Richmond Outpatient VA Clinic to determine how our ministry can better reach and support VA-served veterans, with an emphasis on Vietnam veterans
  • Received first direct referrals from Fort Bend County Behavioral Health Services, following a 90-minute training provided to their team in March on de-escalation of veterans in crisis
  • Growing a relationship with the Fort Bend Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans, following a 30-minute presentation at their February meeting
  • Thank you to Family Hope for feeding several of our warrior families
  • Thank you to the Heart of Texas Foundation for facilitating initial introductions to Fort Bend County Jail and providing mentorship as we grow our veteran-focused jail ministry
  • Thank you to WordServe Church for allowing The Xena Project to speak and preach in March

Coming Up

  • Weekly small groups run by law enforcement officials, for law enforcement officials. The first group leader has been identified, and planning is in progress for a group to launch in the Sugarland area
  • Several warriors are beginning training to become certified by the Alliance of Christian Counselors in Combat Trauma Care and Counsel, joining our five peer counselors already certified

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February 2018 at The Xena Project

By the numbers:

  • More than 75 hours of pastoral care and peer-led counseling were provided to approximately 25 veterans, 10 family members, and 5 law enforcement officials
  • More than 40 hours of animal-assisted healing occured at the ranch in Beasley during February.
  • Miniature horse “Star” attended one off-site event, a suicide prevention/awareness walk attended by approximately 200 community members.
  • The ministry team distributed two Bibles and more than a dozen sets of booklets and tracts to warriors and family members

Headlines:

  • The Xena Project has been approved to work in Fort Bend County jail, where approximately 30 veterans are currently held. The Xena Project will remain true to the highly individualized care that is our hallmark by first meeting with each of the veterans and asking with open, loving hearts how we can be of service; these insights will then be used to craft relationship development plans for the long term. More to follow!
  • The Xena Project is grateful to the Fort Bend County Crisis Intervention Team for our shared presence at Fort Bend County’s recent “Out of the Darkness” Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk. On Saturday, February 24th the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention held a community walk at Brazos Park. The Xena Project brought miniature horse Star, who was immediately pressed into service for the comfort of numerous families who have lost loved ones to suicide. Among them were several military families. We are now in touch with the Katy-based Hope Connection, a suicide loss support group that includes additional military families; more to follow as this relationship grows.
From the warriors, February 2018:
  • “I am sorry I disappeared…. and I know I say that every time. You are the only people who welcome me back, though, every time.” – Army veteran, three tours in Iraq
  • “I worry that my ex-husband is going to find me and I know that is silly, but it has kept me in a box for a really long time. Please pray for me. I am finding the strength, little by little. Please don’t give up on me.” – Former military spouse and domestic abuse survivor
  • “God told me to talk to you. Can I please have a hug? I don’t know why I’m crying but…. thank you for being here. Thank you for bringing the horse.” – Former spouse of a Marine who committed suicide in 2014, with two young children

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January 2018 at The Xena Project

By the numbers:
  • More than 100 hours of peer-led counseling and pastoral care were provided to approximately 40 veterans, 15 family members, and 3 law enforcement officials.
  • More than 20 hours of animal-assisted healing occurred at the ranch in Beasley.
  • Weekly groups grew, and now include approximately 20 regular attendees who served in Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan, and peacetime
  • The ministry distributed 4 Bibles and more than 20 sets of booklets and tracts.
  • The team grew by one llama. “Romeo” arrived last Monday courtesy of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. The llama had been running loose in the Pendleton area, prompting calls from area residents for at least one month that the Sheriff’s Office is aware of; we suspect he’s been on his own much longer. As he settles in and becomes more easily handles, we hope to add Romeo to the roster of animals able to go off-site.
From the warriors, January 2018:

“Groups of people are really hard for me, but this church (Simonton Community Church) is so pretty…. I like it here. It makes me feel good. I want to keep practicing until I can stay through the whole weekly group. I want to keep coming here.” – Army combat veteran, Purple Heart recipient, multiple tours in Iraq

“You’ll come get me? Wow…. you are the only ones who care. I know this is not life threatening, but it is scary to be by myself, having all these surgeries. I really need a community. I feel alone.” – Navy veteran, female, who lives alone and is undergoing multiple surgeries. 

“I needed this today.  I just needed this. I thought about going to the zoo, but people stare if you cry at the zoo.” – Army veteran, multiple tours Iraq and Afghanistan, as he hugged a horse and talked about his estrangement from his 8 year old son as a result of past problems with alcohol; he is now sober and working daily to build a new life.

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