Rock the Block

On Saturday March, 31 the church plant participated in one of it's first outreaches in the downtown area. As we have mentioned before, the church will physically be located in an area that is within reach of a range of people groups that make up the city of Columbia. Our focus on this day was to serve the city by reaching out to a community that is made up of low-income families, many with single-parent households. Because these two factors combined are directly associated with the development of at risk children and youth we are seeking ways to serve these families that will benefit them in the short and long term.

For this outreach we joined efforts with another area church. The local elementary school made their facility available to us for the events which were kicked off Friday night with a family friendly movie. Saturday was about offering services and activities that focused on building up the families in this community. This included kids club, home renovations (based on the schools recommendation of need), free professional services offered by the many gifted volunteers, and family workshops on parenting.

As one volunteer observed, "the vacancy in the eyes of some of the children was a jolt to my comfortable life. There is something not right about a six year old that has a flatness and sadness in his/her eyes." So how do we impact these children, who have experienced aspects of life that we cannot imagine, in ways that are meaningful and show them Christ's love? We are not entirely sure but we do know that we, the church, have to be present in their lives as much as we are able.

Considering all that was going on in Columbia this weekend before Easter the turnout was pretty good. We hope this outreach will be the first of many as we seek to develop relationships with families in the downtown area.


Greg said...

That's an awesome place to be- for them and for you guys. Thank God that you and James are part of His plan to those in need- we all need redemption.

janethayes said...

Thanks for sending the update with a photo. In this day, when so many are moving thier talents and funds away from the 'less tidy' areas of need, I am so thrilled and not one minute surprised that you and James have heard God's heart for the poor and left behind. Stacy, don't be surprised to find that there are families with children with disabilities and no support services and therapies. These families will need your loving openness. You will also find a different cultural take on whether therapies and interventions are necessary or time-worthy in some families. The love Christ flowing through you will be such a comfort to many mommies. Janet

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