07 Feb Adopt-A-Child 2010: Moments of Delight
This past December, Grace Members again faithfully supported our seasonal Adopt-A-Child program. This culturally engaged effort supported over 300 children at Concrete, McKissick, and Monaview Elementary Schools, Allendale-Fairfax Middle School, as well at Grace Church.
The Adopt-A-Child program was a further extension of our relationship at multiple elementary schools for our Powdersville campus. Over the upcoming months, Grace Members will provide additional resources in the classroom and for school events.
At Monaview, we opened a store in the school gymnasium so parents could come over a two day period and shop for their children. The opportunity to actually shop, make choices, and pay a small amount for the items provided dignity and a sense of responsibility to these parents. Grace’s participation at these schools further equips these parents to raise their children.
This past Friday, we completed this years Adopt-A Child as 91 students from Allendale-Fairfax Middle School boarded two buses and traveled to Columbia for the day. Working with Assistant Principal Greg Still, these students were chosen for their improvement in math and reading classes. Their reward was a trip to Columbia and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Most of the kids had never seen a circus and some had never been to Columbia. The same was true of many of their chaperones. They were met at the Colonial Center by several Grace Moms and their kids who were able to reconnect from summer mission trips and a visit to Greenville. After the circus, the entire group was able to visit more at a local restaurant. This culturally engaged event allowed a child a brief opportunity to experience life away from Allendale and be rewarded for hard work.
Many of these kids and their parents at each of these schools live under a cloud of generational hopelessness. A single trip to a circus or the provision of clothing items will not change this cycle of poverty. However it is a beginning, a worthy battle to undertake, a Christ-like behavior, and a command of the Scriptures. Christ calls us to care and take up the cause of the poor. We read in Proverbs 31:9, “Defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Defend is defined as providing care, protection, and resources. Our resource in this case was a simple donation to Adopt-A-Child. We are asked to meet “the desires of the poor.” (Job 31:16). Tim Keller in his book Generous Justice expands the definition of “desire” to include turning the poor man’s life into a delight. By providing the resources for this CE trip to the circus and clothes and gift items, a moment of delight was captured in the minds of these students and their parents.