Hundreds of volunteers, students, and staff gathered to celebrate the meaning of Christmas with parties, gifts, and time together. Children from our inner-city school partners, including Eugene Field Elementary, Stan Hupfeld Elementary, SeeWorth Academy, The Club at Crossings, Whiz Kids students from Capitol Hill Elementary, and Sunset Elementary, enjoyed special time with volunteers, their teachers, and their friends during each of the parties held during the month of December.
As Hurricane Florence made landfall September 14, 2018, both North and South Carolina were affected by the devastating winds and record-breaking flooding. Over 2,500 people were sheltered in North Carolina alone and an estimated 759,000 homes and businesses were damaged.
During this disastrous event, many school-aged children sought shelter in the school they attended after being forced to evacuate their homes. When children live through disasters like that of Hurricane Florence, their mental, emotional, and physical health can be disturbed, as can their education. Injury, irregular eating habits due to inadequate food supplies, and death are possible during these traumatic events. The stress of losing loved ones, homes, and possessions and being forced to relocate additionally weigh on these children.
All of these factors contribute to a child’s sense of security and stability, but fortunately, meeting a simple need with a few resources help children regain their sense of ownership and free-form expression.
Feed the Children, a non-profit organization whose mission is to “provide hope and resources for those without life’s essentials,” creates and shares Disaster Backpacks designed specifically for children who have been impacted by a disaster like Hurricane Florence.
Feed the Children is currently working with 19 community partners to identify needs and gaps in services for these children and their families. 37 shipments of relief supplies totaling 792,000 pounds of food, water, personal care items, cleaning supplies, and other essentials have been allocated.
In September, Crossings Community Church through the Missions ministry had the opportunity to partner with Feed the Children to be a voice of hope and to demonstrate God’s love to these affected families. Second through fourth graders at the Crossings OKC campus created 350 Disaster Backpacks to send to children who have been displaced from their homes and their belongings due to the hurricane. Each backpack is full of personal hygiene items, a plush toy, and a copy of The Comfort Quilt, a coloring book that helps children recover emotionally and spiritually from the losses they’ve experienced.
Take a look at how God is using Crossings to love our neighbors near and far:
Our first Father-Son Learning and Cultural Engagement (LACE) trip to Roatan, Honduras was a blast! From June 2 through June 9, 2018, Crossings 78 dads and their sons traveled to Roatan to encourage our missionary partner, Deborah Hunnicutt.
The guys served with children in the bilingual Christian elementary school founded by Deborah, joined in conversational English classes taught in the community, and so much more.
Take a look at some of the trip’s highlights below!
Want to be a part of one of our Learning and Cultural Engagement (LACE) trips in the future? Check out our Missions page right here, explore upcoming trips, events, and classes right here, or contact Pam Millington, Pastor of Missions and Outreach Opportunities, by email at email@example.com.
Crossings Community Church has partnered with SeeWorth Academy for 11 years and we had a blast serving approximately 350 students this year! Over 70 volunteers partnered with SeeWorth Academy to celebrate the season of Christmas and the birth of Jesus! Volunteers and students enjoyed personal interactions through shared activities like gingerbread house decorating, bingo, crafts, painting, and more! Each student received a custom hoodie, a bag of candy, and a gift card. On the high school campus, one student came up to a group of Crossings volunteers and gave them each a piece of the best candy in his bag to share his gift and to say thank you!
Missions at Crossings works with inner-city students and skilled volunteers to mentor students on life skills development, planning for a successful future, and relationship development during the school year. Service groups also join in for campus beautification projects, sports physicals for the athletes, and hosting high school graduation at Crossings OKC.
If you’d like to speak into the life of a middle or high school student on a regular basis to offer experience, strength, and hope, contact Pam Millington, Pastor of Missions / Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a look at some highlights from the SeeWorth Christmas Party below!
We had a blast at the Eugene Field Christmas party as part of our Christmas Outreach program! Since 2006, Crossings has partnered with Eugene Field to support the teachers and students and to show the love of God through serving others. Our goal was to partner with one of the schools in the Oklahoma City Public School System that struggled the most with trying scores, parent involvement, behavior issues, and others. This Christmas season, our 91 volunteers served 383 students — take a look at the highlights below!
We had a blast at Community Nights 2017 with over 800 people in attendance! Community Nights, our back-to-school event, was able to provide 110 haircuts, dozens of physicals and immunizations, and 1,000 hot dogs thanks to 100 dedicated volunteers from the Crossings Community Center and Crossings Community Clinic.
Special thanks to Integris Community Wellness who provided our food, the OKC Thunder who shared their Community Van with us, the OKC Metro Library System who gave away hundreds of free books, and The Village Fire Department who showed up to have fun with the kids. Hundreds of desserts were baked and generously shared by Crossings Community Church members.
The purpose of Community Nights is to provide service to our community as we continue to build the trust of the part of a city that we are working on a purposeful, long-term, restorative relationship with. Take a look at the highlight video and photo gallery below!
Crossings Edmond had a blast at our first Serve the City event this July! We had 93 volunteers between our three service projects benefiting Sunset Elementary, our local missions partner, Peppers Ranch, and Alpha Relief. At Sunset Elementary, Edmond volunteers completed beautification projects including repainting soccer goals, edging, landscaping, planting flowers, organizing teacher work rooms, cleaning, and preparing classrooms for incoming teachers and classes. At Peppers Ranch, Edmond volunteers had the opportunity to serve the foster care community by organizing their offices and play spaces. Our Alpha Relief team helped equip congregation members to learn how the organization assists Christians in countries where religious persecution is prevalent since Alpha Relief’s purpose is to channel resources for effective ministry and facilitates collaborative efforts that serve persecuted Christians.
Many of our volunteers for Serve the City enjoyed serving alongside their families and loved the opportunity to share this experience. One volunteer was particularly moved by the work at Sunset Elementary because he had attended Sunset as a student and was starting his own landscaping company, which proved to be a wonderful partnership with us for the landscaping and beautification of the school’s grounds.
Serve Our City’s purpose is to increase the compassion muscle of Crossings Edmond and to be the hands and feet of Jesus right where we live. Our hope is to increase awareness of missions opportunities in our very own backyards that we can mobilize Crossings Edmond’s members to engage with.
Take a look at the photos from Serve Our City 2017 below!
Want to get involved with upcoming events at Crossings Edmond? Click here to see what’s next on the calendar!
Our global outreach trip to Roatan, Honduras this February was a blast! Crossings women partnered with missionary Deborah Hunnicutt to serve the community and exchange cultural practices with local women. Take a look at some highlights from this trip in the video and photo gallery below!
Want to learn more about missions and global outreach at Crossings? Visit our Missions page!
“My name is Rahaf and I am 14 years old. I came from Syria and I came because of the war. Planes started bombing over our homes and we had one bomb that fell on our house. So we lost our home, it was totally on the ground. We heard that some people were going to Lebanon so we decided to move to Lebanon.
We stayed in a cave for 5 days-there were 3 families in total. We weren’t able to leave the cave, because of planes were always bombing. I was so scared from the war and I had this heavy phobia. It was so difficult and my heart was so hard I wouldn’t feel anything. I was just numb. I used to feel very lonely. We finally settled in a tent city with many others who left our country. My heart was so sad.
At H4L, I learned how to pray, and then we learned how to worship. We used to sing also and I got attached to the worship songs and then I met Jesus through the songs and the prayers. When I met Jesus, my life and my heart changed. I was happy, and experienced peace to its best. I like to learn about Jesus more and more. I love English and I would like to be a journalist. I want to write stories about people and about Jesus. The thing I would like to convey is that I have fled the war, and this is all because of Jesus Christ. He has helped me find peace through all of this.”
In the tent settlement, Rahaf was introduced to Heart for Lebanon (H4L) and enrolled in their Non-Formal Education Program, which gives children the opportunity to learn basic Arabic, English, and math as well as character development lessons based on biblical principles. Most of these children, regardless of age, have been out of school for several years and would not be able to afford school or even have access to an education.
As part of H4L’s holistic care ministry, they also support the mothers of these children by offering English studies, encouragement and spiritual care through Bible studies, special gatherings, and personal visits.
H4L focuses intentionally on children who are referred to as the “Lost Generation,” consisting of over 1.2 million Syrian refugees- 52 percent are under the age of 18. These children have seen and experienced horrible things in their young lives and most of them have been out of school for over four years. Without an education, they will not develop the intellectual or vocational capacity and character necessary to find and keep a stable job in the future. These are the lost ones who often become prime targets for radical groups to exploit.
Learn more about how you can be involved in helping children and their families find peace amongst the rubble at heartforlebanon.org
Don’t miss Camille Melki, founder and CEO of Heart For Lebanon, speaking at Crossings on November 20th – details are available right here!
“Peace Among the Rubble” written by Pam Millington, Pastor Missions/Outreach Ministries