When one of our sites had to quit running because there weren’t enough volunteers, one partner decided this had to change.
Sometimes we take for granted the safety and peace we have experienced while reaching children growing up neighborhoods plagued by crime, gangs, and violence.
It’s easy to see the children inside the community centers or schools – with smiles on their faces and eagerly engaging with their leaders – and forget that there is a world out there that’s not so kind.
That “childlike innocence” is often lost before they even enter elementary-school. Street smarts, survival, and taking care of themselves are lessons instilled almost before they are potty-trained.
But at Novo Bible Club, it can be different.
This is one place where there are so many caring adults that both the children and parents have an undeniable feeling that amidst the chaos of the inner city, this is a safe haven – emotionally, spiritually, and physically. We love that about our programs and what that means for these communities.
This spring, we were saddened to have to shut down our program at the NE Scattered Sites (NE 25th and MLK). We had two amazing, faithful church partners – but with their small congregations, the number of volunteers they could recruit was limited. On top of that, it was unsafe for the children to walk from their homes several blocks along MLK to get to the center.
It seemed as though this site might be closed indefinitely.
That is, until Eastwood Baptist Church stepped in and said “no way!”
And on top of all that, they had a van that could be used to transport the children safely!
So this fall, under the leadership of Eastwood member and new Site Coordinator, Sherry Swicegood, this site was resumed. Twelve volunteers representing three churches – St. Mary’s CME, Gideon Baptist, and Eastwood – joined arms and said “We’re back!”.
And boy, were the boys and girls glad about that! Their first night was filled with smiles, hugs, and maybe even a few tears. They sang songs, heard a great Bible story, and learned a memory verse. It was a good night!
The manager there helps remind us of the reality of the need:
“There really isn’t anything else for the children to do. No one else is investing in them. They need you.”
Because of YOU these boys and girls will experience a safe haven each week where they learn about Jesus and hear that He loves them and made a way for them to have a relationship with Him.
Partnerships and opportunities that make this a reality for the inner-city children of Oklahoma City are the reason Novo exists. Thank you to all our church partners for the difference you make. Thank you for letting us be a part of these moments.
Truly, we are better together!
Want to see a Novo Bible Club in action? Contact Heather Leser, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405.397.6721 today to set up a tour!