On Sunday, March 18th, First UMC of Colleyville held a dual annual kickoff event for their thriving Sponsor A Child initiative, and the Run for Rescue 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk to support missioners who serve in Sierra Leone. The church members' response was especially enthusiastic, due to a beautiful Sponsor A Child display with photos of students sponsored by church members, and children who need sponsors. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the event, with special thanks to Ruth Ann Meek, SAC coordinator for First UMC, Karen Roeming, partner church representative, and Sharon Gardner and Neil McKinnon, Run for Rescue organizers. First UMC is grateful to partner church Otterbein UMC for inspiring their new SAC display.
Otterbein UMC in Harrisonburg, VA, pastored by Rev. Adam Blagg, really loves their sponsored students.
The partner church proudly displays the profiles of all the Child Rescue Centre students sponsored by church members in a prominent place, with Psalm 147:4 posted above: "He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names."
The church's strong commitment to the CRC and pride in their students, is evident in the "Otterbein's Star Scholars" display. It's like a display you might see in the hallway of an American school, although a closer look reveals that the students are 4500 miles away.
A recent sponsorship event at the church added eight more students to the total, whose pictures will soon be added to the display.
The CRC's newest students live in Fengehun Village, just outside of Bo. Because of the distance, the Fengehun students weren't able to attend the Christmas parties held at the CRC compound, so the CRC staff brought Christmas to them.
In the fall of 2017, the CRC expanded beyond Bo to add 20 first graders living in Fengehun Village to the roster. Fengehun Village is one of the villages served by Mercy Hospital's Outreach program. CRC staff travels with Mercy staff to do home and school visits for the children, while Mercy conducts prenatal and child nutrition clinics. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Fengehun by car.
Because of the distance, the 20 new students couldn't attend the Sponsor A Child Christmas parties held at the CRC, so the CRC staff brought a belated Christmas to them in January. Each child received a Luci solar light and treats to share with their families.