Posted on August 26, 2014
The real ministry of KICKO happens through the relationships we build with children, their families and members of the communities where we work. Lessons taught at Sonday School are important and it is the Word of God that changes lives. But the reason children and even adults open up to receive the Word is because they know that the person introducing them to the truth of God’s word genuinely cares about them—and that comes through the relationship. The amazing thing about a real relationship is that it lasts. Real caring relationships can stand the test of time!
This summer, we witnessed firsthand a prime example of the lasting power of a relationship. As we were launching a new Sonday School site at Ridgebrook Apartments, the very first Saturday, members of our team were walking through the neighborhood reminding kids that Sonday School was about to start. I heard a young man call to me and ask, “Is Mrs. Janice here?” He was a young man in his late teens or early twenties so I knew he had to know her from the past. He identified himself as Javonte from Austin Homes. He was visiting his Granny who lives in Ridgebrook. But Javonte was not by himself. Hakeem was with him and they both had been a part of Sonday School when they lived in Austin Homes as children.
From Left to Right: Hakeem, Janice and Javonte
When Javonte and Hakeem saw Janice, their faces just lit up. Both of these young men had attended Sonday School as children and had heard Janice tell them many times, “If it’s in the Bible, it’s the absolute truth!” Growing up where they lived it was important for them to know where to find truth because so many lies are around and things happen that make a child question the truth. Hakeem’s mother was murdered during that time and we lost contact with him. But the seeds sown in his heart had already taken root. As he went into foster care and was ultimately adopted, he knew that God loved him and that He had a plan for his life. The reunion with Janice gave him an opportunity to tell her how God had kept him and brought him through some really dark times. He is working and getting ready to start college this fall.
Real relationships, the kind that last, are only built when we are willing to get out of our comfort zone and get involved in other people’s lives. It’s not always easy and can sometimes be messy. But that’s what it takes to make a difference. Jesus’ commandments are simple, Love God and love our neighbor. To love our neighbor we have to be willing to go into their world.
Over the summer, there have been many short term mission trips taken. There’s nothing wrong with mission trips, but on the way to the airport, you will pass some awesome mission fields right here in our backyard. The last nineteen years have revealed much fertile ground in the harvest fields of inner city Knoxville. Will you help send us or better yet, will you join us to bring the LOVE of God to the children who so desperately need it? For about the price of a “Grande” coffee we can provide Sonday School to an inner city child each week. They’re just waiting to build a relationship that will stand the test of time . . . all the way to eternity.
The best is still to come,