Robertson Elementary approached our church and asked if we would start an Afternoon Adventures program like City Life Church was running at Bernard. My initial reaction was to refuse. I didn’t have any experience in running an afterschool program and felt I was underqualified for the task. Also, working with kids really wasn’t my strong suit. But the opportunity to influence neighborhood children was irresistible. The school was asking the church for help. We couldn’t ignore it.
We put together a team and gave Afternoon Adventures a try. The impact of the program on the children and the volunteers was immediate. These kids are trusting and hungry for relationships. They light up when you give them your time and attention. Our volunteers are creative and come up with fun projects for us to do, but the projects themselves are almost unimportant. What matters is that we are spending time together in a safe place.
It is important to invest in our neighborhood schools because this builds healthy communities. Afternoon Adventures gives our church the chance to know our unchurched neighbors and become relevant to their lives. Volunteer retention is high for the program because our volunteers are rewarded by connecting with children at a heart level. We are developing a Christian witness at the school. When we are asked why we give our time and funds to this program we boldly proclaim that we are obeying the second greatest commandment that our Lord Jesus gave us,
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:28).
Written by Carol G. Assistant Pastor at Chilliwack Alliance Church (CAC)
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