This year at Farm Drive we saw God move in incredible ways, from connecting neighborhood kids with the Gospel at Bible Club, supporting young students with homework help and mentorship, and reaching our community and neighborhood with the compassion, love, and truth of Jesus Christ.
At the core of what we do at Farm Drive are weekly Bible Club and Homework Center ministries. At Bible Club, kids learn from Bible stories about the promises that God keeps while hearing real life lessons in respect, honesty, and other biblical truths. Cheryl Bales and her 12 leaders have kept this ministry going strong. Thank you, Cheryl and team for your hard work and dedication! At Homework Club, we have 54 kids attending twice a week for homework help and mentorship. Thank you to the 26 volunteers that help these kids in elementary through high school with homework, reading, and lending a listening ear–giving both encouragement and hugs.
A new addition to our Homework Club is an extra homework help night on Tuesdays. This is meeting a huge need for kids who benefit from extra one-on-one help with everything from geography to pre-calculus. Thank you to the many volunteers who come faithfully every Tuesday.
We have 11 kids currently enrolled in our high school mentoring ministry: CRAM, which stands for Committed, Relational, Accountable, Motivated. We work with John Muir and Gunderson’s administration, contacting teachers when necessary, to keep kids on task, with the end goal being for these students to graduate from high school prepared to enter either college or a trade school. We hand out money for A’s every six weeks, and the kids receive other incentives as well when they meet the program’s requirements. We see CRAM working as kids are succeeding in school and graduating! Thank you to Coordinator Gary Johnson and the CRAM mentors for investing in these kids’ future, relationally, spiritually, and educationally.
In addition to meeting the needs of kids and students in our community, we also are involved with providing for the needs of families through food distribution and community engagement. The first Tuesday of every month we partner with Second Harvest Food Bank, using Hillside as a distribution center to distribute food to our community. Recipients appreciate our smiles and attitudes, and, for many, this is the only time they come to church. Thank you, Hillside for letting us use the church facility and thank you to the 34 volunteers that make up our team, being the hands and feet of Jesus. We are constantly working to connect the Farm Drive neighborhood with the ministry and mission of Hillside, with community events including our neighborhood block party, taking kids to Hillside for Sunday morning worship and Wednesday night youth group, as well as integrating Hillside’s members with our neighborhood.
Matthew 5:16 says “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”. Our lights can shine in ways as simple as smiling, showing love to a homeless person, helping the elderly, baking cookies, cleaning up the neighborhood, having good attitudes at a hockey tournament, and shaking hands with the police officer that comes to the neighborhood to visit. We teach the kids to be good examples of Jesus, showing respect at all times, because it’s what we have been called to do. Farm Drive is making a difference in these families lives, as we see kids interacting with the Living God, making good choices, and pursuing better lives.
Thank you to everyone that is involved physically, financially, or prayerfully! You are a part of a ministry that has been around for over 25 years and still continues to be life-changing. We appreciate you!
Patty Havens: Director, Farm Drive Neighborhood Center
Bernice Dimas: Assistant Director, Farm Drive Neighborhood Center