As a photographer on the side, I (Kendra) am fascinated by facial epressions. They are flickers that express more than words. Joy. Fear. Hope. Anger. Adoration. Each registers for an instant, but speak volumes. It’s as if the curtain has been pulled aside and we are invited to peer into their hearts.
As I glanced through the pictures from our most recent Christmas parties, I was awestruck by the emotions we had captured. Our students may not always have the words to express the impact we are making in their lives, but their faces tell another story.
My favorite moment is the one of the girl looking at her gift (see below). Amid the chaos of children ripping into their wrapping paper, she silently held her gift and smiled. Joy, hope and excitement danced across her face.
Thank you for making these moments possible with your support of Club Christ Ministries!
IT’S ON ME
Sometimes I (Maryann) miss being a volunteer at CCM. I used to watch Kendra as she had to make the hard decisions and be the one to show the “tough love” and I used to think “Man, I’m glad I don’t have to make those calls!” Now as fate would have it I’m on the other end as a Center Director. This year I have had more confrontations than ever before. I met with a teacher about a misbehaving student, spoke to parents about their children failing in school, I confronted teenagers about using drugs and watched as God used all my efforts to make a small difference in their lives.
Being a teenager is hard but being a teenager with little or no support can be even more difficult. This year I had the opportunity to mentor a 9th grade teen girl. Although we had MANY great conversations and moments of vulnerability, I had to confront her about some of her behavior. She was furious, till this day she is not speaking to me, maybe it’s because she’s embarrassed or maybe it’s because she thought I was just another person in her life telling her
what to do. I find peace knowing that this beautiful teenage girl has someone to turn to if she needs help. Please pray that we are able to continue our mentoring relationship and that she opens back up to me this semester.
The centers open back up next week! We are excited to welcome the students back and get back into the swing of things! Thank you so much for being a part of what we do at Club Christ Ministries.
There aren’t many things in the world that can bring as much delight to a child as “Chuck E. Cheese.” There is Disneyland, Ice Cream, Food Fights, then Chuck E. Cheese. Each child in our Elementary Program earns “marbles” for finishing their reading assgnments on our online reading program. If they earn enough in the class jar they get to go on a field trip of their choice. Their choice inevitably involves lots of pizza, tokens, and tickets! This past week our Henderson Center went thanks to the help of some donors, Sharon and Dave Mills, who donated towards the cost of the trip and volunteered to give the kids rides.
Watch this video to see all the fun we get to have at Club Christ…
They say, “Tis better to give than receive.” An easy saying to say, yet a hard one to teach. Especially to children that may not have everything that they need. When there are holes in your shoes or your family cannot afford Christmas gifts, it’s tough to give when you have so many needs at home. Their faces often well with emotion as they struggle between the desire to keep the gifts for themselves or give them sacrificially to another. Yet each year, teen students from Club Christ give their time to serve others in need.
The picture above is of Executive Director, Evan Hartsell, and three teens from our Henderson Center at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. They served dinner to over a hundred homeless men, women, and children alongside one of our church partners: South Hills. Three more teens also stepped up to serve as waiters at an event highlighting the need for more foster parents with a sister organization, Foster Connect. Each young person served with a willing heart and open hands.
November will bring another opportunity for them to significantly impact their community. Students will spend $500 on a community service project. The neat part is that they will get to plan the whole thing by themselves! We are training them to take initiative to change their community for the better. Your support of Club Christ is helping raise up young leaders who care about our community.
Are there ways that you and your family can serve together this holiday season? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to serve with us!
This year at Club Christ we are hosting our very first phone-a-thon called “Handcuffed for a Cause” on Saturday November 23rd. Everyone likes to give a little extra around the holiday season to those in need and this will be your opportunity to impact the kids of Club Christ. We are so excited to raise some money to help fund our programs for the rest of the year! Our goal is to raise $5,000 but our stretch goal is to raise over $10,000! We will need your help!
Now I know what it sounds like when we mention a phone-a-thon…
Our phon-a-thon is going to work something like this:
- We will have a call center set up at our new office where volunteer callers will be ready to call on their family and friends to help raise money for an organization they love!
- Each caller will have set up a goal before hand and will be handcuffed until they have posted bail (their fundraising goal).
- It’s going to be a blast and we hope we can count on YOU to answer the call on November 23rd .
I (Maryann) work in a neighborhood with a lot of Hispanic families. Out of all 30+ students I only have 6 students who are not Mexican. Most of the food they love is SPICY and being the wuss that I am, I can’t stand spicy food! The students have learned that about me so they try and trick me to tasting things their moms cook by saying “It’s not spicy Mrs. Maryann!” I made that mistake once and haven’t made it again!
At the beginning of this week one of my 2nd grade students came running up to me by the stairwell and showed me a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos:
“Do you want one?”
“No way! You know I don’t like spicy stuff. Maybe if you get me a regular Cheetos I’ll eat it.”
He pondered that thought and disappeared.
I turned to open the door to the Center and after I finished unlocking all four locks I feel a little hand tap my back.
To my surprise this student had found me a half eaten Cheetos that he took from one of his friends! Ha! I couldn’t believe it. I also couldn’t bring myself to eat the mysterious Cheetos but thankfully he understood. Something about that gesture struck me. He must really care about me. To go searching for regular Cheetos in a neighborhood that LOVES the spicy kind is no easy task! I’m really thankful for these kids, they keep me on my toes and remind me that little things like finding non spicy Cheetos for someone can make all the difference in the world.
What “little things” have made a huge impact on you?
For a long time we had a lot of trouble getting teenagers through our door. It seems like things have started to finally change. It’s been wonderful to see the teens come every week. Here’s a story from our very own Evan Hartsell about what’s going on in Henderson.
We had a room full, I mean packed, with teenagers who wanted to learn what the Bible had to say to them. There wasn’t any hesitation, they just wanted to soak it all up. This has happened for the past three weeks since we opened our doors in Henderson. We have covered the flood, sin, redemption, what happens at the end of the world, the cross, faith and so much more. They are asking questions and really thinking through what God’s truth means for their life. It’s really incredible! What’s even more incredible is that all this is happening right inside their neighborhood! God is pursuing them through us setting up in a small two bedroom apartment. It’s so cool to be a part of.
Being a teenager is tough! Who came alongside you and gave you hope? Share your stories in the comment section below!