Tag Archives: religion

Church Based After School Ministry: Teaching Children To Pray

One of the most important tools you can give a child to walk through life is prayer.

When was the last time you took time to teach the children about the importance of prayer.

One of my passions is to teach children to turn their self-talk into an on-going conversation with Jesus. There isn’t a moment in the day that we can’t be talking to Jesus and expecting Him to guide us and direct us.

 

What do you do with prayer? 

When a problem arises, where is the first place you turn?  In your day in/day out living, how often are you in a conversation with Jesus Christ?  When your life is going good, do you share with Jesus the excitement of what is going on in your life?  What about when life is difficult?

 How will you teach the kids to pray without ceasing if this isn’t your lifestyle?

How will you challenge them to move toward a victorious walk with Jesus if your walk isn’t victorious?

A lesson on prayer

Below is a prayer I’ve prayed for you.

 Jesus,

I lift this faithful laborer up to You today.  Let him/her grow in his/her depth of conversation with You.  As s/he comes to You, bless him/her with a sense of Your presence.  Speak to him/her in his/her inner most being.  Oh Lord, I know You long to have a continual conversation with this child of Yours.  Please Lord; teach him/her how to speak with you constantly.  In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Where Is The Church, Christ’s Body?

By Wanda Parker

I visited a different KidTrek Associate Center yesterday.

I’m still fighting back the tears from yesterday.  My heart is so heavy.  I want so bad to communicate to you the great need that is just within miles of where you live.  In Matthew 18 Jesus warns us about how we will be judged if we don’t care for the children.  Where is the Church?  Why isn’t the church more proactive?

I sat eating snack with a group of 5th and 6th graders when the Secondary Nurturer asked, “How was your Thanksgiving?”

“Horrible!” was the simple reply of one child.

“Horrible?  Why was it so horrible?”

“My aunt got in a big fight with another woman over a man.  They were hitting and pulling hair.  It was horrible.  I just wanted to get out of there.”

You had to hear her voice to get the total impact of this child’s pain.

A macho 6th grade boy dressed in his low riding pants commented, “Roy, I’m going to visit my dad in Georgia. I wish I could live with my dad, but then if I lived with my dad I couldn’t come to the center. I don’t want to leave the center.”

I had to fight back the tears.  I felt the pain of these kids. 

Then there was another kid who sat across from me who never spoke – a 6th grader also.  My heart kept being tugged towards him.  I learned that the school is at the point of just passing him forward because they don’t know what else to do with him.  His parents don’t have the sophistication to know how to get him more help.  He has some type of brain damage but no one knows what it is nor how to help him.  The Secondary Nurturer is doing research and is fighting for him in the school district and beyond.  (The tears are coming as I write – what if this was my child?  What if this was your child?  You’d probably have the sophistication to fight for him, the education to know places to go, a support system to fight for him.)

These kids are the lucky ones – they have a Secondary Nurturer who is walking through life with them.  Someone to fight for them.  But what about all the kids who have NO ONE!

Are you a follower of Jesus Christ?  What are you doing about the Invisible Children of America?

I truly believe the Lord is going to ask you one day what you did.

These kids don’t need “drive-by evangelism.”  They don’t need a drop-in after school center.  They don’t need only a tutoring center.  They don’t need a once a week Bible Club.

This is what they need:

  • Long term quality relationship with a godly adult.
  • An adult with the education and sophistication to fight for their real needs (as opposed to felt needs).
  • An adult willing to get emotionally involved in their lives (Secondary Nurturers shed many a tear in the fight for these kids.)
  • An adult committed to becoming a friend of the kids parents/primary nurturers.
  • An adult committed to building a relationship with every Social Service Professional involved in the family’s life.
  • An adult willing to work alongside of the child’s school teacher to make sure s/he is receiving the best education possible and is following through on all assignements – just like you would do for your own child.
  • An adult willing to spend so much time in prayer for the child that s/he is giving up things s/he wants to do for her/himself because s/he is pouring into the life of the child.
  • An adult who is fully committed to Jesus Christ.

Several years ago I was speaking at a conference of Inner City Workers in Philadelphia when a huge burden came over me.  I awoke in the middle of the night and I couldn’t get back to sleep.  I got up and took out my Bible and began reading, crying and calling out to God.  I wrote the following in my Bible that night, “Raise up an army of servants to work with the children in the cities.”

That was impossible!  Or is it?  If you are a follower of Jesus Christ also, do we not serve the God of the impossible?

Now our Heavenly Father has given KidTrek the vision of putting missionaries into churches across America.  You may not be able to be a missionary but you can:

  • pray that the Lord will raise up the missionaries and provide for their support,
  • give to support the missionaries,
  • volunteer a couple of hours a week,
  • spread the word – tell friends, family, everyone of the potential if we reach the children.

Where is the church? Together, you and I can make a difference in the lives of thousands of children across America. Will you join KidTrek in this “impossible” task?

Yes, for those of you who know me best, I’m still fighting the tears and emotions as the passion to reach the children overwhelms me.  I know it is a passion the Holy Spirit has placed within me.  May the Lord bless you as you ponder what the Lord’s will is for you to do in this battle to reach the Invisible Children of America.  No Child should be Left Behind because we were too caught up with the business of our own lives.

Fighting for the “Invisible Children of America” a couple of stories

by Wanda Parker

All names are changed in following stories.

Jammal was really struggling in school – in fact he was failing. 

Robert, Jammal’s “Secondary Nurturer” was to meet Jammal’s mom at the school to meet with Jammal’s teacher, the principal, and school counselor.  The discussion was to be in regard to Jammal’s being admitted into a special class for children with severe learning disabilities.  The state would fund it but Primary Nurturers had to request it. 

Robert was running a little late because of complications at his second job (he has to work a second job to provide for his family) kept him longer than usual.  He called the school to let them know he was on his way.  The principal came on the line and told him he might as well not come because Jammal’s mom had not shown up.  A Secondary Nurturer is trained, and soon experiences once on the field, that s/he must fight for the kids part of which is often parenting the parents.

Robert drove to the apartment where Jammal, his mom and siblings live.  There was no answer at the door but as Robert was getting back into his car Jammal’s mom drove up. 

“Where have you been?  We are suppose to be at the school.”

“Oh something else came up so I just figurered we could reschedule.”  mom replied.

“No! This is too important.  Jammal deserves to be in this program. We are going to the school right now. Get in the car.” Robert challenged.

When they got to the school the principal said it would take a couple of hours to get everyone back together to meet.  Robert told him that was fine – they would wait! Robert and Jammal’s mom sat down in the reception room to wait.

Fighting for the “Invisible Children of America” often means parenting the parents.  It means walking through life not just with a child but with an entire family.  It means getting to know the teachers, principal, counselors so they trust you.  It means going to school events, volunteering at school, working with not against the school.

STORY TWO: 

The call came late in the afternoon, “Myra we are going to be taking the Jones children into protective custody tomorrow morning at the school.  Would you like to be there so it is a little less traumatizing for them?  You can ride with them to the foster home.”  The call had come from a social worker whom Myra had spent time getting to know.

A Secondary Nurturer becomes the constant in a child’s life.  To do that they work on building a relationship with all the social service professionals in a kid’s life. It is about team work.  This takes a lot of time and a lot of effort.  It takes perseverance.

It is the vision of KidTrek that by getting “Missionaries,” also known as Secondary Nurturers, into churches fewer children will have to go into the foster care system. By building relationships with the Primary Nurturers and walking with them through life as they parent a lot of subtle parental training just happens.  Because the Secondary Nurturer is a trusted friend, not an authority figure, the Primary Nurturer listens. 

There are many different levels at which you can Join the Walk to fight for the “Invisible Children of America.”  Will you join us? 

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND part 2

by Wanda Parker

Did you have the opportunity to read Amos over the past couple of days? I reread it and wow! What a challenge.

Amos 5:24 “But let justice roll down like waters.

What is justice for a child?

I believe we are told what justice is for a child in Deuteronomy 6:7 – as I read this I see each child with an adult who is walking through life with him/her. An adult available to nurture him/her spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially.

As mentioned in the previous post – I believe that the Body of Christ is given the responsibility to do this. We CAN do this IF WE ARE WILLING!

Amos warned the people that God didn’t want to hear their praises or listen to their music because they weren’t following Him. A sign of their lack of “seeking Him” was their lack of care for those with needs in their society. America has thousands and thousands of children who are growing up with little or no nurturing. What greater need, what greater poverty is there? Where is the Body of Christ?

Will the church “stand in the gap” for them? If you are part of Christ’s Body are you willing to “stand in the gap” for the “Invisible Children of America?”

If you are at a loss of how to “stand in the gap” KidTrek has some ideas. You can become a Missionary/Secondary Nurturer and acutally serve at-risk kids and their families full time; you can be a Giving Warrior supporting the missionaries on the front lines; you can be a Prayer Warrior holding up to the Lord the needs of the missionaries, the kids and their families. You can also pass the word and get others to Join The Walk meeting the needs of the “Invisible Children of America.”

I have never met a child that deserved to be left behind – but thousands in America are.

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND

By Wanda Parker 

No child left behind is a term with which most Americans are familiar.  But what does it mean?

Of course “education” is probably the immediate response.  But I believe if we are truly sincere about not leaving a child behind we must address the needs of the whole child – spiritually, emotionally, physically, intellectually, socially. 

Who can do that? 

  • The school can’t – they aren’t allowed to provide the spiritual (and I wouldn’t want them to).   Plus how much time does a teacher have to spend in the home getting to know the family, or interacting with social service professionals?
  • Social Service Providers can’t – they aren’t allowed to provide the spiritual.  Plus do they have time to get out and play games with the kids?
  • Secular programs can’t – they aren’t able to provide the spiritual. 
  • The government?

 Whose responsibility is it?

If you haven’t read the book of Amos lately you might want to do so.

The Body of Christ is able to do it – IF it is willing.

I’ll continue this later in the week when you’ve had a chance to read Amos.

America’s “Invisible Children” prt.2

Wanda Parker

Eight years ago part of the Lord’s direction which led to the founding of KidTrek was a constant barrage from those in ministry with me at the time. I was continually being told that my expectations were too high. Many a tear was spilled as I cried out to the Lord asking Him if I was hearing Him correctly.

I was flying home from Chicago after a particularly difficult time of being told how wrong I was. Curled up next to the window I cried out, “Lord am I as far from Your will as they are saying? Am I not hearing you correctly? If I am wrong I want to change.”

Suddenly, as if He was sitting in the seat next to me I heard, “Wanda this is not your vision it is Mine, no one has a right to change it. To reach these “Invisible Children” it is going to take prayer and fasting, but not fasting from food. It is going to take adults who are willing to fast from the things they want to do for themselves because they are spending so much time with the children.”

I don’t know about you but when I believe I have heard the Lord speak on something this important it always concerns me – I may just be hearing what I want to hear. So I asked the Lord, “If this is truly from You please confirm it.”

That next week I was sitting in my office in Los Angeles when an After School Center Director whom I had trained dropped by. She told me she had been driving around and praying where her church was planning to plant a new church. She was overwhelmed as she watched drug dealers openly exchanging drugs on the street corner while preschoolers ran in and out amongst their legs.

“Wanda I cried out to the Lord and asked Him how we were ever going to reach these kids, how we were ever going to be able to make a difference. You know what He said to me? He said, ‘It is going to take prayer and fasting, but not fasting from food. It is going to take adults who are willing to fast from the things they are doing because they are spending so much time with the kids.'”

SHE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT MY TIME ON THE PLANE WITH THE LORD!

To reach the “Invisible Children” of America it is going to take adults who are willing to fast and pray. Adults who are willing and able to give up doing what they want and pour into the lives of these kids.