Archive for July, 2007

Today I went on visitation and N., one of my most faithful kids, was my helper. She was the official photographer as I did “updates” for our sponsored kids and she took a few really great, artistic photos.

Me and N.

By the way, it’s really nice that when I knock on a door I can hear the parents say “Jenn is here” instead of “It’s Y*gi Be*r” (the name of our program and what random kids scream at me anytime they see me). I’ve being recognized as a person! Yay! It only took two years.


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Sunday after church I made a spontaneous decision to take some of our teenagers to lunch and a movie – in very $$$ Times Square. But, it was an absolute treat for them. A lot of the kids I know NEVER leave their neighborhood and even though they’ve lived in New York City their entires lives they have never (or rarely) been to a place like Times Square. We had lunch at Applebees and then THEY wanted to see the movie Hairspray. I don’t usually like musicals, but this one held my attention. The theater was packed and we sat in the very front row, so for two hours we pretty much were looking straight up. Not comfortable. But, it was fun and the kids liked the movie.

The summer is a great time to spend quality time with our people because we actually have time. Here are a few photos from the day:

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Today on visitation I heard from a couple of families that they are going to school for breakfast and then returning later on in the day for lunch.

The New York City Department of Education has a Summer Meals Program.

More than 700 schools, pools, parks, libraries, and New York City Housing Authority complexes throughout the five boroughs will be serving free breakfast and/or lunch. All children under the age of 19 are eligible for free meals regardless of income, citizenship status, residency or enrollment in public school. Children do not need to attend summer school to participate in the program and there is no application, registration, documentation, ID, or fee required. Meals are available at any of the open sites, regardless of the location of a student’s home school.

The thought never occurred to me until today that during the summer, with the kids at home, the parents have the added expense of extra food for meals. With milk going for more than $5 a gallon, food is expensive, even more so for the family of seven I was spending time with this afternoon. And I know that for many of my kids the only meals they get are the free ones at school. I am so happy the NYCDOE has considered this and is making food so easily accessible.

I’m glad that our kids won’t go hungry this summer.

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While I was on vacation a few of our kids/teenagers sent me text messages, telling me they missed me, asking when I was coming home to NYC. Earlier this week I got a text message from M. from my teammate Bronwyn’s phone.

I like cheese. (This is how I know it is M. It’s his catchphrase.)

I texted back – What are you doing today?

He responded through several text messages that he was at court. The City was trying to take him and his sister away from their mom and put them in a home OR his mom had to go to rehab.

I texted back that I was praying for them. My heart started to beat and I got a little panic-y. If the judge split the kids up and sent them to foster homes, who knows if we’d ever see M. and his sister again? Their mom isn’t a bad mom, she just struggles with addictions like a lot of people.

Soon, he responded with “Yay” and that the judge had decided to let them stay with their mom and not go to a foster home.

I praised God! I’m glad that Bronwyn could be there to interceed for the kids. M. and his sister are a major part of our Unit 8 family.

A few minutes after the good news, he texted again to say that they were at McDonalds to celebrate.

I love text messages.

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This is a video of the last Saturday of our Indoor Sunday School. On Saturdays we pick up about 4,000 kids in our neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York and bring them to our church where we hold Sunday School indoor.

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