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Boyce College students minister to students in need at local Kid’s Cafe
December 04, 2006
By Garrett E. Wishall
Thousands of children in Louisville do not grow up in Christian homes. Many are not even reared in two-parent families. When faced with social pressures, such children often turn to drugs or some other destructive habit that threatens to destroy them.
This semester, Boyce students from the Dikaios hall ministered to children in difficult life situations through three service projects with the Kid’s Café, a ministry of United Crescent Hill Ministries.
Boyce student Maria Wiemar said the projects served as ministry opportunities and learning experiences for the students who helped.
“It gave students a chance to minister to kids from rough family backgrounds,” she said. “Many Boyce students were blessed to be raised in good Christian families in good churches and this is an opportunity for them to minister to kids who weren’t blessed like they were. I think the Boyce students can help break the cycle of destructive living that these kids are caught in, and I think they can also be impacted through this ministry.”
Wiemar works five days a week with United Crescent Hill Ministries, a coalition of all the churches in the Crescent Hill area of Louisville. Crescent Hill Ministries has an after school tutoring program open to all middle school and high school age students in the Crescent Hill area.
“Most of the kids that come are middle school kids and most of them come from broken homes,” Wiemar said. “Most of the kids have never known anything other than a single parent home.”
Wiemar has had several conversations about the Gospel with one girl in particular.
“There is one girl this year who I can tell God is working in,” she said. “She has attended church off and on in the past, but is not a Christian. She has had a lot of rough circumstances this year and I have had the opportunity to share the Gospel with her. She has also had a lot of questions that I have been able to talk to her about.”
In addition to its after school program, Crescent Hill Ministries offers a dinner called Kid’s Café. In mid-September and twice in October, a group of Boyce students from the Dikaios hall helped serve food, offered condiments and engaged in conversation with the students they served. Heidi Johnson, the female resident leader on the Dikaios hall, organized the service projects and said her goal was to help students grow through servant ministry.
“When I looked into it I really wanted to instill a passion to serve in other student’s hearts,” she said. “I think that serving is something that is hard for us to understand in this culture where everything we need is right in front of us. So, it was really on my heart for our hall to serve other people and to give them a chance to do that. It was a way to be able to go and make an impact in a small way, but in a way that was needed.”
Student Alex Loginow participated in one of the service projects and said he enjoyed putting his classroom knowledge into action.
“It was great to be able to talk to those kids and minister to them,” he said. “It was neat to be able to take the things I was learning in school and apply them practically in ministry.”
Johnson expected to minister to the students, but was surprised when God opened another door to ministry.
“I got to interact with a group of high school students from a church who were helping us serve food,” she said. “They were a group from a church, but not all of them professed faith in Christ and I was able to share the Gospel with some of them, which they seemed receptive to. It was also fun to serve with other Boyce students.”
Johnson said next semester the project may be open to all Boyce students as she would like to see a group of students from the college minister at Kid’s Café consistently throughout the year.
Wiemar said her main goal is to share the Gospel and give the students a reason for hope.
“A lot of the kids don’t have anyone who cares for them or believes in them,” she said. “Most importantly, I want them to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I also try to be someone who believes that they can be more than teenage moms and drug dealers and help get them off the streets.”