I Was Born to Do This!
Since I was 12 years old I’ve been involved in children’s ministry in one form or another. I’ve worked mostly in churches and homeschool groups loving on the kids in front of me. Working with children is a huge part of who I am.
In March, after ending my tenure as a Children’s Pastor, I checked out a Saturday morning inner-city kids ministry in Charlotte run by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Dreamcenter. The volunteers met around 10:45 am to set up and connect. Then we walked down the streets of JT Williams, a struggling community, to pick up twenty or so sweet kids. We took them to their local school parking lot, gave them a snack, told a Bible story, played games, and worked on a craft together.
I loved it.
The next week COVID lockdown hit NC and the program came to a halt. Everything came to a halt. I was frustrated at first as I had really connected with the ministry. Then the Dreamcenter started passing out nightly meals. So my girls, Madi, Eva, and I joined the team. Every other night, beginning in April and running thru July, we delivered takeout-style boxed meals to 175 people in the neighborhood. It turns out when you deliver meals on a regular basis to the same families, you get to build trust and friendships. We got to know the neighbors, the parents, and the kids.
When the Saturday program started back up in June, Madi, Eva, and I became core members of the JT team, committing to be there every week. Our family picked up one Saturday each month providing a lunch, usually hotdogs, fruit, a sweet treat and juice box, the Bible lesson, and a craft or activity. This is a wonderful time to love on the kids, encourage them, and tell them about the loving God of the universe who lives inside them.
That same month, we began helping with the Thursday afternoon free food market, picking up produce boxes at a local church, setting up the market, and delivering bags of groceries to the most vulnerable.
When NC went virtual for their public schools, it was a large challenge for a lot of families including the JT families. So, the Dreamcenter started an after school tutoring program. Education is my wheelhouse so this was the perfect opportunity for me to give. So, every Monday and Thursday, at three o’clock, I pick up 4 children from the JT neighborhood and bring them to the Dreamcenter HQ. There they spend three hours receiving private tutoring and playing games aimed to move them forward academically. This is key to their future success. I bring them home with a boxed dinner around 6 pm. They love it and I love it. The car ride is my favorite time where we get to laugh and chill in my van.
This is what I was born to do. These families are so precious to me. They have welcomed me into their homes and let me be a part of their children’s lives. I am so grateful that I have been able to serve in all of these ministries inside the Dreamcenter.
Early on, Jason and I felt we wanted to partner as both a family and through our ministry, A Family Story, to support the Dreamcenter and these families. Last week, Jason asked me to write what I am doing so he could invite those who are a part of A Family Story to partner with us.
Here are a few ways you can partner…
We greatly value your prayers. God has always been faithful in protecting us and guiding us when we’ve encountered dangerous situations. Please pray for peace in the JT neighborhood. Please pray that the love of God is revealed to every heart we encounter: the children, the elderly, the disabled, the drug addicts, and the homeless we serve.
If you’re in the Charlotte area and want to learn more about any of the ministries within JT Williams you can reach out to me HERE
If you have already been giving to A Family Story, thank you. Your gift helps enable me to continue working as a volunteer with the Dreamcenter. If you would like to partner specifically to support me, you can do so through A Family Story, HERE
We do have one specific need as a family that directly affects my ministry; we need a new minivan. Ours in on its last leg. If you would like to give specifically to this need, you can do so, HERE
Thank you so much for supporting us over the years. It means a great deal to our family. We love you all.
Karen and Jason Clark
A Family Story is a 501c3
All gifts are Tax Deductible.
Jason & Karen Clark lead A Family Story ministries. Their mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. They live in North Carolina with their three children.
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