brighter futurescommunityurban youth development


REACH is a leadership development camp that I and Wes Stevens (from the YMCA) dreamed up in the spring and have been offering throughout the month of July. Fifteen kids have been involved throughout the summer.



Tuesdays are our ‘practical experience’ day for REACH. One Tuesday, the kids were put into teams and given the task of coming up with their own plan of action. We sent 2 teams out with designated leaders to try to serve someone in our East side community. The kids were having a hard time coming up with something to do. After a frustrating start for one of our teams, we came upon a small business where an older man was out cleaning up the property. We hurried over to the man, and without asking who we were or explaining who he was, he immediately assigned us jobs. Within a few minutes found ourselves scraping walls, picking up branches, and cleaning windows. We, as leaders, were amazed at this opportunity to serve that we had just stumbled upon.

The God connection, which we didn’t realize until half way through, was that we were helping The Pregnancy Resource Center, another Nehemiah Foundation ministry. The man had been expecting a team from a Cedarville University Camp who had scheduled a work day there. He assumed we were them, which is why he put us to work as soon as we arrived! During our debrief at the end of the day I was able to share with the team what the Pregnancy Resource Center does and how they serve women in Springfield who are in hard situations. I then was able to explain the God factor, His timing, and the way He often uses us to bless others. I was truly thankful that God gave me the gift of a teachable spiritual moment when our kids where ripe to hear the way our God loves us and serves us in practical and uplifting ways.


Chris LeMaster

Associate Director


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