Friends, our church sits in a unique neighborhood here in Peachtree Corners. This small city of 43,269 population (19th largest in the state of Georgia), has an average household income of $102, 564 and a median household income of $66,905. Don’t let those wealthy stats fool you though. There is poverty here and those who struggle. (worldpopulationreview.com)
Our neighbors at The Vine apartment complex may fall well below those statistics. Did you know that Simpsonwood has a full grown ministry in that apartment complex? Simpsonwood members first become involved about 10 years ago when the program was run by Re-Christ Ministries (RCM), founded by Matt Johns, son of our own Johnny Johns. Matt began an outreach ministry that spread to 3 apartment complexes with involvement from several churches. By the 2016-17 school year, the SUMC led program at The Vine was the only one in place.
The SUMC program today offers basic homework help to elementary students. It includes Christian teaching and fellowship to these students on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Because of space limitations and strict overview by the Gwinnet County Fire Marshall, it is limited to 12 participants. The children come directly to the basement of the clubhouse when school buses arrive. The afternoon ends around 4:30 with time for games and fellowship until the children are picked up by a parent or older sibling around 4:45.
So many people are instrumental in this ministry, but Charles Battle leads the charge. “Our goal is to have our volunteers work with no more than 2 students – ideally it would be one on one. During the 2018-2019 school year, we averaged 8 volunteers per session for the 12 students,” Charles explains. Last year, the program had 15 weekly volunteers, 2 subs, and one former student, a senior at Norcross High. This takes unusual commitment as it happens every single week during the school year.
There are great success stories from this ministry, as these children truly need homework, tutoring and mentoring help. Imagine being a parent and wanting to help with homework to make your student successful, but you don’t speak English? As with most ministries, the After-School Program is as strong as its volunteers. Please consider volunteering for the 2019-2020 school year. The rewards are in the eyes of the children, and success in the classroom. We can make an impact around the world, in different countries, different states and even downtown. But this ministry serves children right here in our midst.
Won’t you be a part? If your heart leads you, please contact Charles Battle. You will need to complete a SUMC background check and the Safe Sanctuary training requirements. Let’s “Know Christ and Make Him Known,” right here in Peachtree Corners. You can sign-up for Safe Sanctuary here and complete it this summer.
Matthew 21:16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,”replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”