Written by Kendall Demavivas, Henderson Center Director
“I love coming to the Learning Center!”- Melissa, 4th grade student.
This past January I walked to Melissa’s house to remind her that Club Christ has reopened for the semester like I normally do. Her mom, in tears, answers the door and says, “Kendall, Melissa and her Dad moved away, and they won’t be coming back. I’m so sorry.” My heart dropped and my head started spinning. Two weeks later, Melissa’s mom is evicted. Just like that, Melissa is gone from our program after three years of faithfully coming every week, unexpectedly and without a chance to say goodbye. This is a feeling I know too well as the Henderson Center Director. I have had to say goodbye to dozens of families who have moved away due to evictions, violence or other symptoms of broken homes.
I arrive at my center with a heavy heart, still anxious for the start of the spring semester at Club Christ. Just then, students come running to the center shouting, “Can we come to the Learning Center today!?” The conversation moves to telling stories of our winter vacation, playing games and then on to homework and reading. We pick up where we left of last semester, but this time, without Melissa.
During these difficult times when a student is taken away from the center, I cling to the victories we see during their time at Club Christ. I had the joy of praying with Melissa and three other students when they gave their lives to Christ. We may not be able to walk with students as long as we would like, but God captured and changed Melissa’s heart. Melissa improved her grades with the help of our faithful volunteer team and I saw her develop a heart to serve Christ here. I could count on her stopping by early to ask if she could help me clean the center or get prepare the day’s snacks. Melissa loved Jesus with all her heart.
Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Though this has been a difficult season with many of my original students moving away, we are reaping a harvest of students coming to faith in Jesus. Nearly every student who comes to our center develops a relationship with Jesus. We poured deeply into Melissa and the lives of each of our students during their time at Club Christ. And we’re reaping a beautiful harvest that will bloom in the years to come.