Guest post by Aleisha:
I can’t believe summer is peeking right around the corner already!! The nice warm weather here, to me, has made it feel like summer has been here since February. With summer coming around, that means school is coming to an end, and with school coming to an end…that means we are wrapping up our last Community Night.
Community Night is one of my favorite programs. I love the idea of providing a safe and fun place were the kids can come and hang out. We may not sit down and have a Bible study with them, but sometimes just hanging out with them can do a lot!
Last Friday when our evening started out, it looked like rain was heading our way. Now, you have to understand something….it NEVER rains in Phoenix, Arizona. (It does rain, just not very often). With Community Night, we are outside the whole time. With the rain coming, we weren’t sure how everything was going to play out. The kids had volleyball, basketball, and four square games going on, and then came the rain. It was just a little bit of rain, and the kids couldn’t have cared less. The games continued in the rain; a few minutes later, the rain stopped just in time for dinner!
When I look back to the very first Community Night and compare it to now, my four square talents might not have improved, but my relationship with the kids have! 🙂 And the volunteers…I love our volunteers! I have enjoyed working with them and getting to know them.
I’m going to miss it. I am going to miss the craziness of it. I am going to miss the piano banging loudly in the other room when we are trying to do crafts. I am going to miss those smiling faces of our volunteers when I go through the line for my food. I am going to miss AJ and Jewel.
I’ve gotten to know AJ and Jewel a little bit with working with them. They both have hearts that love to serve. I see the relationships and respect that the kids have with them. On Friday nights, Jewel is often helping the kids with craft and taking care of Max and little Lucy. AJ is always out playing something that involves a ball with the kids. If he isn’t doing that, he is either fixing something or making sure everything is running smoothly with the cooks. And I know they also do a lot behind doors to make Community Night happen. We are going to miss them next year, but we know they are listening to God, and because of that we are happy for them.
Community Night will continue again in August. Until then, this summer my goal is to stay in touch with the kids I have built relationships with. Something I have learned out of this is that you don’t have to reach kids by always doing a Bible study; you can make a difference by just providing a safe and fun atmosphere were the kids know they are being cared for and loved.