Saturday, August 13, 2011
Although there were multiple times were we frustrated and tempted to pack up and go home early, God gave us his love, patience and strength so we could make it through. The kids were hard to handle at times and other times a blast to be around. Kory, Brant, Kalyn & I focused on the "little victories" we saw each day with kid's attitudes and decisions. We talked a lot about being what it means to be "others-centered" and not "me-centered." It was fun to see a couple of the kids really soak in truth from the services and to see their desire to live for God despite tough circumstances.
Here are some pictures of the fun we had our first couple days of camp. More pics to come soon.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I was at the KPC court yesterday playing futsal, and as we were getting close to finishing, a couple of kids from the neighborhood who frequent church and Wednesday Night Tutoring entered the court area. They stood off to the side respectfully watching. After a few minutes one of them said hi to David, our Children's Church Coordinator. David said hello and the game continued for a few more minutes before concluding. Following the game, I was standing around chatting and heard someone say hello to me, too. I recognized the voice but put my glasses back on to be sure I got it right before replying. It was then that I saw a few 3rd to 4th grade boys standing tall and at the ready trying to project a confidence that was betrayed by their furtive glances away from eye contact.
From the brief glimpses I have into the lives of these boys through church and tutoring, I know that they carry a lot of hurt. They easily get caught up in name calling and fist fights. They have both tested the disciplinary policies of I'm sure just about every program that they've been involved in and carry issues with them that I know at their age they don't fully grasp. Anyway, I felt honored to be on the other side of their search for affirmation, furtive though it may be, and I hope these boys stay in the neighborhood and grow into healthy young men who love and live for the Lord.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Truth be told, the last few weeks of tutoring have been quite troubling from a behavior standpoint. It's hard to know how to address this problem since acceptable behavior is our baseline for doing anything at Wednesday Night Tutoring. When behavior is as bad as it was last week, we can't really do anything with the kids. We dismissed half an hour early and struggled to keep fistfights from breaking out on the way home. It's disappointing how these recent troubles can overshadow some of the progress that we've noticed over the school year. I share this not in the spirit of complaining but in the spirit of reporting what's actually happening.
On the constructive side, we have plans next year to make firmer connection with our kids' families in the hopes that this will help out with some of these behavior issues. I hope with this firmer connection that we can better support and guide the KP kids who attend tutoring and that we can involve families in the educational, moral, and social development that takes place at Wednesday Night Tutoring. In short, I think we can do better next year by expanding our focus to include families, not just individual KP kiddos.
In the midst of trials and triumphs, the tutors we've had this year have been tremendous. They've given of their lives and their schedules to provide something that all kids need and crave, one-to-one attention from a loving adult. This is what makes Wednesday Night Tutoring work.
Monday, April 18, 2011
If you enjoy kids and want to be a part of their life come to the court anytime after school to play with the neighborhood kids. They would love to shoot some hoops with you!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Discipline is a challenge at the tutoring program, but the kids really respond to the one-to-one attention from a positive, loving adult and to the other positive reinforcements that all of us at Wednesday Night Tutoring are implementing this year. I hope that we can continue build on the positive steps that the kids seem eager to report on and find ways to make the most of what progress they are making.
I found myself grinning from ear-to-ear last Wednesday when during Activity Time several tutors led the kids who chose this activity in rousing renditions of some classic silly Bible songs complete with motions and dancing. It was surprising and heartening to see some of our most confrontational and jaded tutoring kids goofing around without their characteristic guardedness.
Friday, March 25, 2011
We meet at the church twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The courses are online tutorials that students move through at their own pace. An initial test tells us where to start them according to their current knowledge, and then they continue on from there. I am one of three main teachers who is available when help is needed and also to facilitate Community Time. Every night, we take about a half an hour out for Community Time where we can meet together and talk about life. This could take the form of catching up on how the week has been, digging deeper into spiritual issues, or just sharing about ourselves. These times have helped me get to better know those in the program and also makes the program so much more than just GED help. Right now we have four people working toward their GED and they have already made great progress!
It has been encouraging to see how the program has grown already and I am excited to see how we continue to move forward this year!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
We are very excited about events and things to come on KP Court. Be looking for more updates later about KP Basketball Camp, adult open court hours, soccer open court hours, softball league, and more...
But until then come on out and enjoy the court! It was made to be used by YOU! Enjoy the weather. Enjoy the neighborhood. Enjoy some exercise.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Teaching Children's Church at Keller Park also brings its share of difficulties. Attendance is inconsistent and the kids are often badly behaved. As a teacher, I feel most challenged when trying to communicate to the more unruly children that they have behaved badly while not giving them the impression that they aren't welcome or loved at Keller Park. Though this is a challenge that I and the other teachers face nearly every week, it brings me joy to see our kids hearing stories that are foundational to our faith and learning in ways we hope will help them take steps towards Christ.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
KPC's food ministry has two primary purposes. First, we provide a meal to the students and tutors who meet each Wednesday evening. The details of our second purpose, functioning as a food bank for neighbors in our community, are still being worked out, but at this point we are informally providing food to households in need as we find out about them. We get the majority of our food from the Food Bank of Northern Indiana, which is a great non-profit organization without which we couldn't function.
On March 2nd, Matt E. and I made a trip to restock the pantry and pick up an order of food for tutoring. One of the people working there informed us that the food bank has recently received a donation of 350 cases (14,000 pounds!) of fresh oranges and encouraged us to purchase some with the rest of our order. We ended up with over 100 pounds of canned food for KPC's food pantry and over 300 pounds of oranges for tutoring and church members. We're thankful for an organization like the FBNI, which allows us to provide food for our friends and neighbors.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Over the past 2 years, CR has transitioned from a small group of strangers into a close family who weekly share their struggles and weakness along with their hope, strength and victories. A typical meeting can have anywhere from 6-15 people, averaging around 10 or so. There are a variety of struggles shared at CR, ranging from alcohol and substance abuse, other destructive addictive behaviors, relational difficulties, emotional abuse, anger, depression, etc. We strongly value an authentic culture of trust (anonymity and confidentiality) and love (we come to support each other, not to “fix” each other). Judgement must be left at the door, which tends to happen naturally as we are honest with ourselves and one another.
I also wanted to briefly share my personal experience with this CR family. I can’t describe the privilege it is to meet and learn from such beautiful people. My hope tank is filled every single week, as I see God work and move in people’s lives. There is a commonality of desperation for God and, in this, He provides in ways that blow us all away. A couple of weeks ago, a man who has struggled to be clean from drugs for a few years suddenly lost his job. He’s been in and out of homeless shelters and is learning how to live clean and sober after a lifetime of drug abuse. Without God, this would have been a prime time to go back out, to give up and numb the pain. But, this past week, he came back and tearfully shared with me what God had done. Someone just gave him a car and his old job gave him enough money to fix the car. He received a new job within a week of applying and is now able to give back and help others with transportation. This is just one story of many and God is so good to those who take refuge in Him. I look forward to sharing more in weeks to come, including some of the difficulties we experience at CR as well.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Here's some great ways you can make use of the new site:
- Bookmark this blog by clicking the star in your web browser. This will help you to be able to check back often to find out all that God is doing in the KPC and our community! If you use a blog reader, like Google Reader, just add us there!
- Go to the kellerparkchurch.org website and bookmark that as well so that you can access that easily in the future. Then, take a look around!
- Check out the "What's Happening" link to see the upcoming events.
- Click the "connect" link in the "What's Happening" section to be taken to a page where you can find all the ways to stay in touch with KPC.
- Browse the calendar on the "connect" page. Get familiar with how to move around and see what's happening!
- Check out the "Ministries" pages and see the "leadership" page for pictures and contact info for the leaders in the different areas of ministry in the KPC. Click their names to send an email to them!
- Check out the "Ministries" > "resources" page. Use the password, "community" to gain access to the Nursery and Spaghetti Sunday schedules!
- Read through the "About us" section to explore more about the KPC!
Friday, January 21, 2011
This blog is to help us celebrate the things that God is doing in our community, both as a church and a neighborhood. Hopefully through sharing the stories of what is happening, we can both glorify God and encourage each other to keep trusting God, and taking those next steps.
Get ready to be a part of a special story!