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Prayer-Care-Share lifestylers adopting schools, business, neighbors
Latest Activity: Sep 30, 2015
Started by Andrew R. Wheeler. Last reply by Andrew R. Wheeler Sep 30, 2015.
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CrossRoad Church (CRC) began its relationship with Windy Hill Elementary more than twelve years ago when the wife of their lead pastor, Sandy Sprague, noticed the needs of the school and the community around it. Windy Hill was chosen because of its proximity to CRC (Jacksonville’s Southside), and also because many of the Title I School’s students (over 83%) qualify for free or reduced lunch. Mrs. Sprague saw this as even more reason to work with the community and the school to improve the lives of its students.
The church approached the school’s principal, and decided to do the best they could as a congregation to support and foster the school. Over the years the church has provided eyesight and hearing tests on school property and do regular schools supplies, a Christmas store where parents choose gifts for their kids, outdoor beautification projects, a food pantry which supplies 45-50 students with groceries to take home which is solely stocked and organized by church members, clothing assistance, holiday dinners for needy families, teacher appreciation events, and was also able to install an entire computer lab to help support the students and the community.
The church also trained members of the congregation to effectively evangelize and express God’s compassion among the needy families of Windy Hill through distribution of boxes of food during the Thanksgiving season. And recently expanded its relationship with the school by hosting a Windyhillfest for the community on the school’s campus and continues to encourage members of the congregation to become mentors by spending one hour each week with students at the school. Having a one-to-one mentor makes a big difference in the life of a child.
The relationship between CRC and Windy Hill Elementary is a great example of how a church can support a school in need and help raise awareness of certain issues and increase community involvement. We discovered that many of the Windy Hill students don’t have a church, children’s ministry or youth group they can attend. So we go to where they live in Countryside Village with Easter bag parties, snacks, games, crafts, and a bible lesson as well as free week-long “day camp” on our campus to reach all children and their families within two miles of CRC.
The realities of student poverty, distractions, complicated lives, and sometimes just crumbling school facilities, take a toll on the education goals of a school. As communities of people drawn together in faith and love, churches are uniquely poised to step into the gap for kids and their communities. Whether it's volunteering in the classroom to support teachers, or just helping maintain attractive school grounds for students to take pride in, we want to walk the path together because KIDS ARE WORTH IT, we can make the kind of difference that transforms a community, for good.
Seems it is impossible to kick the omnipresent God out of anywhere ... Up to us to send PrayCareShare students and faculty and administrators into schools to reveal God's presence ...
There is a great article at: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/current/public-schools-arent-enemy
One thing that always irritates me is when I read the posts on Facebook about how we need to bring God back in our schools. Well let me tell you public schools are not some loveless abyss of darkness. It is insulting that people would imply such because I know that the Bible says, "When two or more are gathered in my name, I will be in the midst." I would pray daily in my school sometimes with students and fellow teachers. It is insulting when people imply that God couldn't possibly be there in the midst among so many believers. My hope is that no matter how we choose to educate our children we remember there is a world that God commands us to love and share the gospel.
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