Going into our November program, we had to deal with some concerns. On Friday the fourth, literally the day before we're scheduled to run, the recreation facilitator called me in to sort out "a crisis". I jumped on my bike and got over there as soon as I could, my mind racing through the worst case scenarios and possible back-up plans.
It turned out that the neighbours had complained about the noise generated by our program in October and were not happy with it. It seems that people would rather have their peace and quiet than the kids off of the streets. This has been labelled a crippling short term problem solving issue. The short term problem: noise! Solution: stop whatever is making it.
The long term problem: drugs, prostitution, joblessness. Solution: moral education, relational discipleship and working with the next generation.
We can't turn the sound down, because kids respond to noise. So we decided that to solve this problem, and get out of the heat of the sun, we would move our program to the far corner of the rec centre, and man what a day we had!
One of our volunteers, Anita, brought with her paint and papers, pens and pencils and even lego. We ended up with an hour of games and arts and crafts. The kids expressing their creative side. It was fun, messy and interactive!
We had 150 kids come and visit! We reached more kids this month than last month. Of these 150 about 50% were actually new kids. This unfortunately means that a large portion of kids didn't come back, but it also means that we are getting our projects name known in the community.
We were able to teach our these kids an important lesson about what to build their lives on. Comfort? No. Control over your day? No. Rather, build your life on the Word of God.