Well I have been working with ChildReach Ministries for just over a month now. I am The Program Director at The Martin Center in SE Canton. I will be responsible for establishing and overseeing all of the programs at The Martin Center once it opens. So, I guess I’d better tell everyone a little bit more about the center. The Martin Center exists to bring together like-minded organizations to have an eternal impact on the students and communities in Canton. We collaborate with local non-profits and ministries to provide Christ-centered opportunities in athletics, arts, academics, and life-applicable programming. It is our belief that hosting multiple organizations in one location will increase collaboration; consequently, the community will prosper and Christ’s love will change lives. Our prayer is to house community programs such as GED courses, as well as free classes in dance, karate, and parenting. We plan to host faith-based volleyball and basketball leagues, which include mentoring. There will be music lessons and a recording studio. We want to nurture the talent in SE Canton and give people the opportunity to express themselves in a positive way. We have a community garden located on a plot of land across the street. We also hope to install a laundromat for community use.
Over the first few weeks at the Center I have been busy helping get the building ready to open. I have been busy planning, designing and helping get the recording studio walled in, painting and staining all over the building, working with volunteers in the community garden and assisting with mission teams.
Working with the mission teams that have been down to the center has been by far the most rewarding experience so far. When you get to take a group of teenagers from suburban and rural areas and expose them to the impoverished neighborhoods around the center really changes their view on so many things. It tears down a lot of stereotypes and shows them just how many blessings that they tend to take for granted. There is something beautiful watching them go from fearful of their surroundings to enjoying meeting people that they never otherwise would have come in contact.
I also enjoyed getting our High School Missional Community from First Christian Church down to the center. They have now met an amazing group of teens that make up the Youth Village of LoveCanton. I really hope to have these groups together on a more regular basis. I will talk more about the Missional Community in future posts.
I just looked at the length this post and realized I better cut it here. Thanks for taking the time to get caught up with me. I will be sharing more soon. To God be the glory.
In Christ, Matt.