I have a weekly catch-up with Walter Blackwood about Out Of School Care (OOSC) as he finds his way through his first year of being the Director of this program that is now 12 years old. It is always a good time, and I mean that. I love Walter’s heart for his role, extending love to these families in our care, leading our staff to passionately represent Jesus in this setting.
Walter is really getting into his role and embracing the child-like spirit. Check out his new shoes, a smashing success in OOSC last week!
Every weekday we have up to 30 children spilling through our doors with all kinds of noise and silliness, stories and sorrows. It’s quite the little flock to shepherd, full of variety!
Here is one of the ways the staff work with all those wiggles. Periodically they roll some foam dice and everyone engages with a quick, active energy spender! There are rewards for doing this well (OOSC dollars) and these dollars are so coveted, kids will go to all lengths to win them.
If you look closely at the chart below, you will see that one girl ran on the spot for 40 minutes to beat out the competition. Another child did a 10 minute wall sit (have you ever tried a 10 minute wall sit?)
Amid all the fun and games, Walter, Olivia, Julie, Holly, Alecia, and Matt throw themselves into KNOWING these kids and moms and dads so that they are there — like superheroes — on their ready for what is needed: a kind word, a prayer, a listening ear, guidance, mediation, brainstorming, encouragement, a challenge, comfort, approval and most of all, eyes to see them. Have you ever just needed to be seen in this big noisy world?
OOSC is going strong, but your prayers are needed. This past week Walt talked about two girls who are not getting along, each vying to get more attention than the other. How can the staff help these kids work together instead of against each other? We talked about kids who have questions about God and how can we handle this respectfully? We talked about someone in financial need and how we can help. We talked about sad kids, angry kids, kids that seem to get lost in the corners…there is always lots to talk about when you care.
In Matthew 18 Jesus called a little child over, and placed the child in the center of the circle of people. He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
It is a privilege to love and lead the small ones…and to learn from them too, the way of God’s Kingdom. If you want to find out more about oosc or be a volunteer and get in on the joy use this link!