Sharlynn Prohaska, from Southside Baptist Church in Waycross, GA, shares her story of how God is moving in their ministry to reach the community.
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Southside Baptist Church uses 252 Basics on Wednesday night. Most of our children ride the bus and this is usually the only time we see them at church. Before the season began, our teachers held a planning meeting and discussed how they felt God was leading us –that begin with great “heart” discussions.
One of the male teachers commented that he felt God leading us to not just pray but to teach the children more about prayer. That began our prayer board. We set up this board weekly and the children place their requests on the board. At the end of the evening, one of the teachers takes pics and sends them to all teachers for inclusion in our daily prayers. Such an important part of the program! We all are growing so much—even had a time to share when disappointment hit one child whose “prayer was not answered in a week.”
One of our young ladies felt praise and worship was how God was leading her. So we began a weekly time where we teach the children that, as she says, “praise is bragging on God and worship is loving on God” through music. This opened the door for our children to sing on a Sunday morning. They sang “This Little Light of Mine”. We invited their parents and, after they led our service in song, we cooked a lunch for all. It was amazing! We served over 100 people lunch. Parents were in church that had never been and we also began developing a relationship with them.
We’ve been out to visit numerous times, most of the time just going out to love on the children. We had a church-wide mission at the beginning of the school year to collect school supplies. We went to the homes of our children and delivered over 20 backpacks loaded with everything (grade specific) needed to start school.
Sometimes we take so much for granted because we live in the USA. We realized our children were extremely hungry, so instead of a cookie snack we decided to serve a full meal. Children are eating sometimes 2 and 3 helpings. We also wondered why some of the children were always dirty and had to run to the bathroom before getting back on the bus. After a visit to their homes, it hit pretty hard that some don’t have running water. My husband and I have been to Haiti numerous times but this really breaks my heart.
Our pastor just recently left the church, so we are without a pastor. I was not sure how this would affect the Wednesday night program. But it’s not my program, it’s God’s and HE is in control. We have gained workers and continue loving on children. We have had to tweak areas of the program to accomplish it all in an evening but 252 has been such a helpful tool. Children are being fed, loved on and hearing God’s word. Workers are coming, not because they feel they need to do something in the church, but because their love is flowing for these children.
We will meet soon to discuss next season and where God is taking us –wherever it may be; it will be good.