Hope for Kids

Submitted by Megan Currier

www.hopeforkids.net

This month we saw a spike in Family Church attendance and we are praising God. There are several families with very young children who live at the shelter just down the street from our building, and there was one Sunday where it felt like everyone we knew in Indian Orchard was at church! We’ve had to adapt our program a little bit to accommodate the littles who can’t sit through a whole Bible lesson—if we have a lot of 2-5 year olds they head out into dining area with a couple of us for a craft or a story while the older kids and parents stay in the chapel.

One of the sweetest things about Sundays is seeing the same family week after week. Mr. and Mrs. Currier pick up three sisters who we’ve known since Impact Clubs 2016 and bring them to Family Church every single Sunday. These girls are incredibly sweet and are living in difficult circumstances that are sadly so normal for children in Springfield, often going without even the most basic necessities. It’s such a joy to see them walk in every single week with huge smiles on their faces. They love to help me serve lunch to the other kids, serving others no matter the week they’ve had. They’re soaking up everything they learn and developing active prayer lives—seeing them grow in their own walks with Jesus is so beautiful!

We pray that one day we’ll have many “sponsored” families that can be accompanied to church weekly or monthly by our volunteers! We are seeing such a difference in these three sisters after months of consistent discipleship and faithful friendship. Family Church starts at 1pm to allow volunteers to attend their own church beforehand. Transportation and consistency for our kids continue to be huge needs in the ministry—please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re interested in bringing some kids to church!

Due to weather and school break, we only held Club Hope once this month and we are missing it! Our first meeting in January will be a Store Night where all of the kids will get to redeem the points they’ve earned by bringing their Bible and Treasure Seeker bag, wearing their Club Hope shirt, bringing a friend, or good behavior.

Our Club Hope format continues to include a hot meal at 5:30, lesson time based around a Biblical character quality from 6:00-6:45, and small group “camp” time including prayer, verse memory, breaking open treasure stones, and talking about anything the kids want to discuss until close at 7:30. Camp time is such a good place to hear from the kids about what they’re struggling with or having victory in and what God is doing in their lives. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch this video to learn more about our heart behind Club Hope!

Even if you don’t have the time right now to commit to a month of volunteering, let us know if you’d ever like to just drop in and see what’s up on a Tuesday night. We’d love to have you!

As we close out 2019, I just wanted to call out a few people who have gone above and beyond to serve the children of Springfield through our ministry this year. Barbara Lavallee and Tracy Nault were with us through this whole year and were truly instrumental to helping run Club Hope and Family Church week-in and week-out. They both have such incredible, giving hearts to serve and could probably both tell you so many stories of time spent with the kids! Jim and Lisa Jones joined our team this year and have been volunteering together at Club Hope as well as filling important roles on our board and heading up our monthly Community Brunch program. We are so thankful for the way they jump in wherever needed and give so much of their time to help everything run smoothly. Deb Phinney made a huge impact in our ministry both in the trenches on Tuesday nights and behind the scenes long before Club Hope started this year! Hope for Kids would not have been the same in 2019 without all the time and effort she put into pointing our kids to Jesus. We are also so thankful to the key people on our meal team: Raquel Rodriguez, Deb Sheldon, and Mercedes Echevarria all brought meals so faithfully and I can only imagine the hours they spent in the kitchen!

On behalf of Hope for Kids, to everyone who has shown up to volunteer at the Den, covered us in prayer, or supported our work in any way: THANK YOU!  I can’t tell you how much your love and support encourages us as staff, and you are making an incredible difference in the lives of so many children as you act as the hands and feet of Jesus.

We cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for 2020. Here’s to another year of doing all the humbling dance moves, cleaning ketchup off dining room tables, seeing kids pray for the very first time, setting up the Impact Clubs parachute in hundred-percent humidity, listening to heartbreak and witnessing the hope of Jesus dawning in a child’s eyes.