Use My Voice

Speaking up about the issues I can't get out of my head or heart.

Unexpected Highlight of the Summer

I can not believe how quickly summer is going. We have had what I would call a very relaxed summer this year. We’ve balance our summer with “off weeks” where we have had nothing big planed and weeks with VBS, camps, and of course 4th of July. The one thing I wanted to do this summer was get the kids and I serving somewhere. Our church partners with a local ministry to provide sack lunches to kids who would normally receive free or reduced school lunch. I signed the kids and I up to deliver once a week. I was also asked to help coordinate a week of “camp” for the neighborhood we would be delivering to. I was excited for both opportunities. My kids wake up every Tuesday looking or their “lunch shirts” and it has been such a blessing for me to watch them building relationships with the kids we deliver to. We had to miss one week because of camp schedules and they were worried about how the kids would get their lunches that day. My kids are developing a heart to serve and nothing could make me happier as a mother.

This week was my week to lead Next Door Kids Camp. I have to admit I wasn’t completely sure how the week would go. For all of my children’s ministry experience I had never done anything like this. Our program was pretty old school, parachute games, tag, freeze pops, simple short Bible lessons. No glitz, no videos, no game systems. I wondered how it would go over. Would they be bored?

I was looking at this week through the eyes of someone with 15 years of experience in middle class and upper middle class churches. Our constant challenge was competing with everything else the kids in our churches had and did. Church needed to be more fun than Chuck E Cheese. Well guess what I realized this week. These kids don’t go to Chuck E Cheese. They don’t have Friday nights all summer long that involve swimming, snow cones, and glow sticks like my kids do. These kids stay home all summer. They either stay home by themselves or with a parent or grandparent with no car (the one car in the family is at work) and no money to take them anywhere.
I had multiple parents and grandparents tell me how this was the only special thing they had gotten to do this summer. These five nights less than 10 hours were the highlight of these kids’ summer.

Our summer is ending quickly. We only have three weeks left of lunch delivery. I am going to miss these kids. I think my kids and I will pack our lunches and eat with them the next couple of weeks. I worry about what they will do during the weeks before school starts. I know that many kids share the lunches with their parents. I know some of them haven’t had breakfast when we show up with the lunches. I think this opportunity has probably been the highlight of my summer too.

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