We just got done with the last of our four workshops on Helping High Needs Kids, a joint effort with the Nehemiah Foundation, and graciously hosted by Maiden Lane Church of God. As our community — mentors, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, afterschool program volunteers, college students, and more — came together to learn for the past four weeks, I found myself with a few observations.
1) Our community is blessed with tremendous resources! The Cost of Poverty Experience by Think Tank (a national resource headquartered here in Springfield, Ohio!), the local mental health therapists who shared their knowledge, the ministries who shared their stories — it was all drawn from Springfield. Wow! God has put amazing people, organizations, and churches here in this city. Which leads to a second, slightly different observation…
2) Our community is blessed with amazing, dedicated people who love kids. Can you believe that upwards of 50 people would turn out at 9:00 on a Saturday morning — driving through snow storms, some of them! — to learn how to serve kids better? That’s the total number of people who attended one of the workshops, and many came to all four of them. Not only did they come, but they came with incredible hearts to love and serve and learn.
3) Working with kids in challenging circumstances is hard. Incredible people with incredible hearts can still get discouraged. Ministries shared stories of difficult YEARS of ministry before things got better. We need to continually pray for and encourage the people working with kids in our city, because their work is often overwhelming, yet VITAL to these kids. Which leads me to my last observation…
4) There is so much hope being offered in our city! The light of Jesus is shining into dark places all around Springfield today. Kids who have experienced tremendous pain and challenges are finding healing, hopeful, loving places in our city’s churches, afterschool programs, and mentoring relationships. There is so much good happening, and we praise God for the people He has called to love kids! Let’s keep working together and moving forward.
Last thing … to follow up on these workshops, SCYM is hosting our annual “Book Club” on this book, “Children At Promise.” It’s out of print, but you can still order a used copy on Amazon (just click the picture to take you to the website.) We’ll be meeting three times to discuss the book, starting Wednesday, February 26, from 9:00-10:30 (location TBA) to discuss chapters 1-4, and then one meeting each in March and April. This is a great book written by counselors and educators about the support that helps kids thrive in an “at-risk world.” It’s full of hope and practical ideas for those who work with children and youth.
If there’s enough interest, we’ll consider adding a Saturday morning club once a month. Let us know if you’d attend, at email@example.com!
Once again, PRAY for the people you know who work with kids in challenging circumstances. And if you’re not already involved personally, consider joining them! There’s nothing as encouraging as a great team.