Week After Week

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Millions of children in America are searching for proof that their life is worth something and that someone cares about their future.  At Kids Hope we believe that one simple thing will make a big difference in the life of an at-risk child, positive attention from a responsible, caring adult. As such, our mentors work hard to develop a one-on-one, supportive relationship with an at-risk child.

As Jessie and Kayla’s story explains below, our mentors spend one hour a week, reading, talking, playing encouraging, challenging and listening to a child at school. By helping the child feel valued, they help them grow and succeed.

“It is not uncommon for an at-risk child to be told that education is unimportant and that college is unnecessary.  This was definitely evident in the life of my “little”, Kayla.

After asking Kayla about her future and college, she responded by saying, “I’m not going to college… it’s too much work and too much money.”  She went on to explain that she wanted to be a dance teacher or a rapper. Even after informing her that she would still need a degree to be profitable in that profession, she was still adamant about not attending college.  This broke my heart!  From that point forward, I made it a point to talk about my experiences in college and stress the importance of an education during each of our meetings.  Week after week we talked about the importance of school, and week after week Kayla remained uninterested.

Then, it happened.  We were coloring together when Kayla looked at me and said, “Jessie, I think I’m going to go to college to be a teacher.”  It took everything I had not to jump up and down while screaming like a crazy person!!  This was the best thing I had heard her say out of all of our sessions together.

For the rest of our session, we talked about how attending college really is an option for everyone, depending on how hard you’re willing to work for it.  Even after her Spring Break, Kayla continued to talk about going to college and I could already see her working harder on her schoolwork.”

As a result of Jessie’s consistent commitment Kayla now has a completely different outlook on her future and the possibilities it holds. It is for this reason, that this one hour a week, every week, is the most important hour many of these kids have. This one hour really can change the trajectory of a child’s life and leave a lasting impression.

Cheesy Chips and Dippin’ Dots

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Being a Kids Hope mentor is both enjoyable and fulfilling because it provides the opportunity to help shape a child’s future. Studies show that children with positive role models are more likely to succeed in school. They are more likely to have stronger relationships and less likely to become involved in illegal activity. As such, each Kids Hope mentor is carefully screened and thoroughly trained. These loving, caring adults volunteer one hour each week to nurture the heart of an at risk child.

This relationship is not always easy, but when done with consistency it can make a difference in the life of a child. As mentor Penny explains below, even though a strong relationship takes time and dedication, the result is priceless!

“This is my second year mentoring through the Kids Hope program. Last summer my “little”, Kaitlyn, and I were able to go community based, which means we can now see each other outside of school. This past month, for Kaitlyn’s 10th birthday, we went to Wonder Works in Pigeon Forge. She brought out the inner child in me. Even though I was paralyzed after the first obstacle, Kaitlyn loved it! She did the whole obstacle course! I praised her on how awesome she was for doing the whole sequence and she teased me about being so scared. After we were done we shared some cheesy chips and Dippin’ Dots, it was a great day!

We took lots of pictures, which we try to do on all of our adventures. I plan on making a scrape-book of our memories together and give it to her when she graduates from Beaumont.

I cannot begin to explain how mentoring Kaitlyn has become such a significant part of my life. The memories we have made will be cherished forever. Kaitlyn has been such a blessing and I know that we will be in each other’s lives for a long time to come. God definitely knew what He was doing when He matched the two of us together in the Kids Hope Program.”

Operation Inasmuch 2013

Hello Faith Promise Church!

I don’t know about you, but I love the way God’s economy works!

We earn sin – God gives us forgiveness and hope in Christ!
We must die – God gives us true Eternal Life!
We give up our desires – God gives us His desires and peace, love, and joy!

Did you know this is also true with serving others?  We get up early on a weekend <GASP!>, drive to a strange place with people who come from a different background than us, paint/clean/landscape/pack bags/etc – And suddenly, God has given us an incredible sense of fulfillment, of rightness, and joy!  As new creations in Christ, we were made to share love and kindness to others!  When we live out our identity, we begin to look more like Christ and know His heart!  Something that sounds like it would be an energy drain turns into the best day of your year!

I wanted to let you know about an opportunity for you, your family, and/or your small group to make an everlasting impact in your community and your own lives!  Operation Inasmuch is a one-day focused mission event that serves our local community through hands on projects.  The ENTIRE Faith Promise family is invited to serve on Saturday, April 13th (for Pellissippi, North Knox, UT, online) or Saturday, April 20th (for Blount Campus) alongside thousands of Christ-followers in the East Tennessee area.

My team has already found dozens of worthy projects that your group can lend a hand of love to for a few hours on Saturday, April 13th or Saturday, April 20th.  Most projects take place between 8:30 and Noon, but a few have slightly different hours.  Sign-ups are ongoing during the month of March until April 10th – online at http://www.faithpromise.org/oiam or in the lobby of your campus.  You can also email questions to missions@faithpromise.org

I would encourage you to discuss projects with your group as soon as possible and sign up soon to make sure you get the project you would prefer.   Some projects will fill up and close.  There is also a limited budget to help buy supplies and materials for your project that is first come, first serve…so Sign Up Soon!! 

Once you sign-up online or in the lobby, someone from the Operation Inasmuch leadership team will contact you with more specific information about your project.  It is going to be an incredible day in the life of your group and in the life of Faith Promise and I’m so privileged to be able to serve with you!  Let me know if you have questions.

Brad Ervin
Pastor of Outreach & Missions
865-251-2590 x 1405
Brade@faithpromise.org
faithpromise.org/missions

 

There is a Desperate Need Among America’s At-Risk Children to be the “One-and-Only” in the Life of a Caring Adult.

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In the hectic world we live in it can be difficult to find the time to volunteer on a regular basis. At Kids Hope, we ask our volunteer mentors to give one hour, one day a week, for one year. That commitment is one of the most important aspects of the mentor relationship because, for many of these kids, it is the only one-on-one attention they receive.

At first, this commitment can seem like an extensive obligation. However, as one of our mentors Rosamaria explains, the benefits of serving far outweigh the requirements.

“Volunteering at Kid’s Hope has been a blessing in so many ways. Initially, I thought that by being consistently there for my little one would make a difference in her life. Now I know that throughout this time, the Lord has used her to bless my life in so many ways.  The Lord is like that, He asks us to serve and He uses that venue to help us grow and to pour blessings into our lives.

I felt called to serve in this ministry one year before I started. Today I can only say that I wish I had started the day I first felt called to serve in this ministry.  Every week I look forward to meeting my little one. I trust that the Lord is using our time together to bless her life. I pray that my testimony will display His character and I cannot wait to see her become a beautiful young woman who loves Jesus with all her heart.”

There is a desperate need among America’s at-risk children to be the “one-and-only” in the life of a caring adult. This need for love can only be met one child at a time. Despite the business of daily life, there is always 1extra hour to make a difference in the life of a child. For more information on how you can impact a child, contact Holly at hollyw@faithpromise.org.

Come Attend FRESH Grace’s Training Day Saturday, March 9th from 9:00 – 2:00 at West Park Baptist Church.

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Dear Friends,
We are so excited to see how God is moving and working in our area!

On 1/29/13, the FRESH Grace Awareness Luncheon was held in Knoxville in an effort to create awareness of the Human Trafficking epidemic.  The luncheon was a huge success and we would like to thank you again for your attendance.

Our Purpose?

Churches around Knoxville are partnering to increase awareness about Human Trafficking.  Together, we are taking steps to end this horrible injustice.  We are the Body of Christ and we will fight for those who cannot fight.

What’s next?
FRESH Grace Training Day

DATE/TIME:    Saturday, 3/9/13, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
LOCATION:     West Park Baptist Church’s HUB (8833 Middlebrook Pike, Knoxville).

Specifically, our goal for March 9th is to learn from those doing battle in the trenches against Human Trafficking in an effort to equip and mobilize the Body of Christ.

Speakers will include:  Margie Quin from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, representatives from Street Grace (www.streetgrace.org), an Atlanta based organization that is leading the way in the Fight against Human Trafficking, and other agencies in our region who are working to abolish slavery here!
How can you get involved?

Preregistration is required.  You may now Register at the following link:

https://westpark.ccbchurch.com/w_form_response.php?form_id=109

The cost of the training is $10, lunch and materials will be provided.  Registration will remain open through Monday March 4th!

If you want to get involved in the fight against trafficking, this day will equip you with understanding, network you with others, and guide you in how to pray.  Again, thank you for your interest and participation!

The FRESH Grace Team

(Note: if you are unable to register through the link, please contact JanetBlack at jblack@gracebc.org or call (865)951-0081)

One Child,One Hour,One School at a time.

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Every day there are children in Knoxville that wake up searching for someone to meet their emotional and social needs. They are looking for proof that someone cares about them. For many of these children there is not a significant adult in their life to fill that void, and that is where Kids Hope steps in. Our program at Beaumont Elementary establishes a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult and at-risk child through a supportive, mentoring relationship.

Each Kids Hope mentor spends one hour per week investing in a child, but many of our mentors go above and beyond by taking a personal interest in the child’s home life as well. One such mentor, Tammy, has been with her “little”, Ahjanique, for two years. They have shared many things together, but this year has held new challenges in Ahjanique’s home life. Tammy shares their story below.

“It has been great to work with Ahjanique again this year. She is such a blessing, always thinking of others before herself.  We usually do fun things on our visits as she is very smart. Her biggest challenge this year has been adjusting to a new little sister. The baby has her days and nights backwards so she keeps Ahjanique up really late. Additionally, her mother puts the baby in the bed with Ahjanique so she can get rest for work the next day.

Needless to say, with all of the added responsibility Ahjanique has been very sleepy and has not taken care of herself as she did last year. So most days we spend time talking about personal hygiene, how important it is to take care of ourselves and the significance of getting as much rest as possible.

I truly appreciate all of the prayers from Kids Hope and Faith Promise Church. Please keep them up, I know they are working!”

One hour a week may not seem like much, but that amount of time is making a difference in the lives of students at Beaumont Elementary. While many people talk about how to fix the problems facing our children today, Kids Hope mentors, like Tammy, are putting action behind their words and changing lives – One Child, One Hour, One School at a time.