This past week I received a vivid reminder of why our job at FaithWorks is so important. I think I sometimes see our kids, as just KIDS. For the most part, they seem happy and have fun participating in the activities and programs we provide. I knew during the beginning stages of Covid how important it was to keep our Center open, but I don’t think I realized the importance of staying connected.
Marco (not his real name) was a happy, fun, mischievous fifth grade boy. We all enjoyed his company. During his sixth-grade year, we didn’t see him very often, but he would occasionally come to our teen program on Thursday nights. By seventh grade he was gone! Last week one of our teens asked if we had heard about Marco. Marco is now fourteen and was arrested for murder. It seems he killed a thirty-nine-year-old woman during a break-in.
Now, I look at our group of fifth graders and think, who’s next? They are not bad kids, but kids with choices most of us will never have to make. They have lots of free time, not much supervision, no purpose, and a world that numbs violence and shows them what they are lacking—emotionally and physically. Marco’s story is a reminder that we must hang on to them for as long as possible by providing a safe place where they are always welcome. We must remember to reach out to them after they leave our after- school programs and continue to make our teen night something special. I am so grateful for Isaac Gallegos and Darrell Haley and their commitment to loving, playing, and teaching these kids about their value and the hope of Jesus.
Currently, there are twenty-two middle school and high school students attending our Thursday night “TNT” Teen Night Thursday Program.
We opened our Center on September 7, and we have gotten off to a great start. We are still limiting the number of students attending due to Covid. We have a wonderful, committed staff with the addition of three remarkable (former FaithWorks’ kids) high school students. Our Mommy and Me preschool is operating again after a year’s break. It is a blessing to drive up each morning and see the little ones heading to “school.” I am very excited about what Sara Gallegos is doing with our moms and college girls. She has begun a morning “Mom Time” for some of our mothers with younger children. It is a time of fellowship focusing on the struggles of parenting and using God’s word for encouragement. She is also hosting a Monday night Bible study for our college and older high school girls. They are focusing on finding their worth in Jesus. We have also continued the L.I.F.T. (Learning Is Fun Together) tutoring program for our elementary students. Natalie Stinchcomb has done a wonderful job coordinating this program and recruiting tutors; however, we can always use more!
Thank you for your continued investment in FaithWorks. Please keep us in your prayers.