Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
In 2013 through our outreach efforts at Miller Elementary School, ECC felt led to begin an afterschool ministry for children. We realized that with our presence in the school and neighborhood that the next step in our outreach ministry was working with children whose families were struggling and in need of encouragement. Since that time, we have worked with children in grades kindergarten through 4th grade. Some of our “original” JAM kids are now in high school! In 2020, when Covid hit, we continued to contact the children as much as we could. The past few years have been busy BUT we have finally officially started Afterschool JAM back up! We are excited AND the children are excited!
Each week we will pick children up from Miller using our ECC bus. We bring them back to ECC where we have a nutritious snack, give them free time in the gym, help with homework, and talk with them about good character qualities and teach them a Bible verse that applies to the characteristic we’re working on. We actually use the Orange curriculum that is used in our Kids Out Loud ministry on Sunday mornings. Around 5 PM each Thursday, we load the children back on the bus and drive them to our meal at Bauer. After dinner, most of the children are dropped off at home since their parents are working or have unreliable transportation.
Our goal is simple, to give the children a safe place where they know they are loved, where they can learn about God’s love, and be encouraged to become the people that God created them to be. They are precious and have so much possibility! They thrive in an environment where they know there are people who love and care for them. Just having a little bit of extra attention is so important for them.
We also support the parent(s) of the children in whatever way we are able. Four of the children are part of the families that live in our ministry houses. Most parents are single moms that need encouragement. They are all beautiful individuals whom we are blessed to be in relationship with.
Shirley Pence, Kim Gibson, and I are the adults working with the children. We also have several of our “old” Afterschool JAM kids helping out. One of the areas that we would love to have extra help in is with their homework. Each of them has different areas where they need extra help. If you would like to be a part of their homework time, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be about 30 minutes at the most.
We covet your prayers as we continue to meet with the children. Please pray for:
- Each child to feel God’s love and to come to know Him in a personal way
- Safety as we travel and work with the children
- Wisdom as we try to meet needs of each individual child
- Patience as we come up against various behavioral issues
- Love and compassion as we develop relationships with each child and their family
Thank you so much for your continued support of our outreach ministry. We are blessed and excited to continue to follow God’s leading.
Because of Him,