Let me introduce my wife, Janet, who is our Kids Hope USA Coordinator. She has completed training to have this role and is really excited to share with you about the program and the kids it helps!
I mentioned this already on Sunday, but one of the things we all know and love about Sojourn is how we get to soak in the gospel week after week. And when we’ve let the gospel go to work in our hearts, it’s pretty hard not to share it with the world in gratitude and obedience! You see it in our support of adoption and caring for the fatherless. You see it in the Traverse Life Clinic by caring for the needy around us. Another way you might see Sojourn taking the gospel to the world is through the Kids Hope mentoring program.
For those who don’t know, Kids Hope is a national mentoring program in the public schools. Their model is to pair ONE church with ONE school, ONE mentor with ONE child, for ONE hour a week. And while we can’t just go share the gospel freely because of separation of church and state laws, we can certainly go “be” the gospel to many children who find themselves struggling. A pastor recently reminded me from Matthew that Jesus didn’t have to say anything. It was his presence and touch that were so powerful and life changing.
Surprisingly, it’s the principals, teachers, and parents who are begging to have a church partner with them for a Kids Hope program in their school. As you can imagine, it’s difficult for a teacher with 27 students to give more than a few minutes of individualized attention to each student a week, and some students don’t even receive that kind of love and attention at home. When their brains are in “survival mode” because of a difficult home life, they often can’t move into a learning capacity. Spending just one hour with a caring adult has proven to make a positive difference in their education. That’s where you come in!
Three ways you can get involved in this ministry:
BE A MENTOR
I am looking for men and women of all generations who will commit one hour a week to mentor a child at Silver Lake Elementary School. Mentoring is sometimes as simple as playing games, talking, reading together, you name it! The requirements are that you believe in the child, read at a 5th grade reading level, and have consistent transportation and a schedule that allows you to meet weekly during the school year. There are “Volunteer Information Packets” at the welcome desk. Simply fill out an application and return it to me (or put it in the Kid’s Hope box in the church office). We’ll need to run a background check, and you’ll need to attend a 2-3 hr training session with me. After that, you will be paired with a child and ready to begin mentoring for the school year. I will be here to support and guide you throughout the year.
BE A PRAYER PARTNER
Kids Hope USA surrounds every element of their program with prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit! Every mentor will be matched with a prayer partner. There’s no training involved and no need to leave your home. Simply commit to praying for your mentor and their student every week during their meeting. Your mentor will be in regular communication with you to let you know how things are going and specific ways you can pray.
BE A SUBSTITUTE MENTOR
Want to be a mentor but can’t commit every week due to your work schedule? This is the job for you! While we ask mentors to be able to commit one hour per week during the school year, emergencies do come up. The students look forward to their mentoring hour each week, so we’d love to have a handful of substitute mentors to fill in when needed. You’ll need to fill out a mentor application and go to the training session, and then you’re ready to be on call.
For more information on the Kids Hope USA program or to sign up for one of these three roles, contact me, Janet Whipple, at 231-357-2261 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to a new school year of serving together, being “Jesus with skin on" to some of the youngest in our community!