Showing Jesus To Our Neighborhood Families

By Brooke Keoppel

        You are probably aware of BFC’s After School Program, but do you know why this ministry is so important to the families who are involved? This is my first year to serve as After School Program Director, and I am amazed daily at what I see at the Floyd Center and the Family Life Center. Every day, 250 kids from Bethany Elementary and Middle Schools come to our campus and are well taken care of. They all are known by name. They are reminded that their education is important when a volunteer tutor comes in to help them with the school subjects that they are struggling with. They are reminded that they matter when their leader plays with them in the gym—not just stands and supervises, but really plays with them. They are reminded that they are important and, most of all, that Jesus loves them. Some boys and girls in our After School Program may only hear and see that love while they are with us for a few hours each day.With children, come parents. Sometimes it’s not just two parents—it can be step-parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, and friends. So many people who are involved in raising these children come and interact with us. As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and we are fortunate to see that village, and be a part of it! We get to work with parents through some of the toughest times, guiding their most prized possessions through a hard day or a bad choice. We help them show their children they love them so much that they have to own up to their choices. We are trying to show these parents how to be Jesus to their kids, even when tempers are high, and patience is gone. Sometimes these parents don’t know Jesus themselves, and we are showing them his love by teaching them how to guide their children the way he would.

        At the After School Program, we are helping to shape families. We are setting a tone for what their homes will look like, what the attitude will be when they arrive home after a long day and talk about what they did. We are trying to do our best to care for these kids the way we are called to. Bethany First Church is unlike any other place that can offer that care to a family. It is a peace of mind and a comfort to know your children are being well taken care of and enjoying their time when they are away. I would encourage you to stop by some day to see what goes on After School. It will inspire you and make you proud to be a part of a church that would make this kind of love available to those who need it.  

“Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”                 - 1 John 3:18