Did you know that every Thursday during the school year, 5 ECC members work with 21 children through our Afterschool JAM (Jesus And Me) ministry? These are children that we have had a relationship with through our work at Miller, Bauer or they have attended our Summer XP.
We meet the children at Miller when they get out of school and walk them down to Bauer. During our time with the children our goal is to provide a safe atmosphere where we can show the children how much God loves them. We use the Orange curriculum (used with our KOL kids) as a base for any programming we might do. Many of the children come from homes that are unstable in various ways. Behavior and emotional issues are prevalent in the group. We continue to pray and ask God to show us the best way to work with the children.
We have been blessed by the children and their desire to meet with us. We are also excited that 5 of our participants from the last three years that are now 5th, 6th and 7th graders are coming back each week as assistants. They are a great help and we LOVE being able to continue to have input into their lives and to see them grow in their leadership skills as they help us each week.
We also continue to establish good relationships with the parents. ECC continues to use grant money that allows us to expand our ministry to our Afterschool JAM families. We use a point system that encourages parents to allow their children to attend our programs and encourages them, the parent, to participate as well. Twice a year, these points translate into money to be used towards rent, utilities or other areas deemed appropriate. The parents are thrilled with this incentive program and are very thankful to have the extra financial help as a majority of them struggle in that area.
Funds from the grant are also being used to help the Afterschool JAM children give to others. Portions of the grant are being used to purchase items the children can put in thank you packages for the staff at Bauer. At Christmas we put together blessing bags for Lafayette Transitional Housing to give to individuals that find themselves without suitable housing. We want the children to be aware of those around them and to have a giving spirit. Just because they themselves are in need doesn’t mean they don’t have things they can contribute to others.
God is blessing our efforts and we are so excited to see how He is working. Will you join us in praying that all of “our” children will come to a saving knowledge of God’s love for them? With God they can beat the odds and change the generational bonds that hold them captive. Isaiah 61:1-4 is a passage that describes our heart for our children and their families.
If you would like to volunteer to help with an outreach event at Miller Elementary School you can sign up, we have a number of upcoming opportunities. Click here to sign up to help at our Spring Carnival, or click here to help as we work side-by-side with 1st grade Miller families to create their costumes for the 1st grade musical. You may also at contact Ronda at firstname.lastname@example.org.