Monday, June 15, 2009

The Time has come!

Hey friends,
The time has come we're doing our best to consolidate sites, so my blog will now be a part of the official MetroKidz website, you can find it here! So if you access my blog through a reader then please update your pages! This will be the last post that you'll see here :)!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Journey...Block Party...Joy

Good Morning friends! I thought I would send a quick update and let you all know what's going on around MetroKidz and in my crazy life! Thursday was a bittersweet day for me, it ended my year and a half stint as a nanny for the most wonderful twin boys and sweet three year old girl. Several months ago I felt God calling me to trust Him completely and step out on faith to serve Southwest Baltimore and the kids that God continues to place in my life, to be completely sold out for His calling on my life, and the neighborhood in which I serve. I would be lying if I didn't tell you I am scared to death! Because I am! Very very much so! However, I am also overwhelmed with excitement and joy and thoughts of the unknown. Not that my nanny job was the same everyday, but there was some sort of comfort in knowing that things would be somewhat similar day to day, there was a routine...with this new journey there are so many unknowns.

However, this summer my dreams are coming true we'll host a program daily kids will be in our building everyday for at least two hours a day, getting loved on and trained, we'll be ministering to God's people in our neighborhood, and I'll get to spend day in and day out at the church, loving those that others find it hard to love. In the fall, I will be in the schools that my kids attend, I'll be serving on the school improvement committee for Samuel B. Morse Elementary and I'll get to dive deeper into the system we're working with. I am EXCITED!

We're less than two weeks away from the Block Party, its so odd for me because usually by this time so much has been done, that I don't know what to do with myself and overwhelmed with Joy...this year it's less than two weeks away and I am not going to lie not much has's a little scary, but this year the circumstances have been a little different, and I've found myself spread all over the place. The good news is, that I know God is faithful and every year we have a wonderful successful event, and this year is not going to be ANY different! If you're interested in helping with this years party please visit

I am finding much joy in the time I am getting to spend with the kids, whether it's out in the street playing ball with them, having lunch with them, inviting them to the church to play games in the middle of a hot day or just a phone call, the grace and love I'm experiencing is like nothing else in the world and is something I wouldn't trade for anything!!! I'm thanking God for the ability to be able to experience everyday with these kids, I'm thanking the people who God has called to believe in what I am doing and who are investing into me and these kids through their volunteer and financial support. Thank you friends!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Today was a VERY special day!

Today was such a special MetroKidz day, two of our kids graduated high school! This was such a sweet sweet day and to be included in such a special day in their lives was so rewarding! Watching their mother get so excited about seeing her babies graduate...I am so lucky to be able to be a part of such intimate special moments in my kids lives. Tonight I go to bed thanking God for that!!!

Pics to come!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

True Ministry...

Several weeks ago, God really laid it on my heart that I should be spending less time planning and more time moving, meaning I need to really be outside more with my kids, really truly getting into the core of their lives. That's been happening, sometimes it's good, sometimes it bad and sometimes I've cried until I can't cry anymore tears, each time I've learned something new about myself and about my kids, each time I've been able to relate or guide them to someone who can relate and help them. God has been continuing to pull me out the place of comfort I've found here and send me to edge some days. I've gotten to share hugs, laughter, tears of joy, tears of pain and tears of hurt with my kids and some of their families recently. It's taken it's toll on me, but each time I feel God pull me through and give me the strength to go on, even on the days where I feel like I can't do it anymore. I am so thankful that God pulls me through every time and even more thankful for the people that have been placed in my life to encourage me through the tough times!

The other night we were driving D&D home from MetroKidz and talking about graduation and the future and I let them know that if there were not enough tickets for their graduation I understood, their response was, "Mommy said you're getting a ticket, you're just as much involved in our lives as she is," and then again last night their mom said, "Wow, Ms. Colleen must love you a whole lot to..." It feels so nice to be recognized by a parents, and appreciated, especially after the week I've had with other parents.

Tonight at MetroKidz I am excited to share with the girls some of my personal testimony...and walk with the Lord, I am excited to share with them some of my a more intimate and personal way.

Today I am thanking God for the opportunities he continues to present for us to Shine in Baltimore!

Monday, May 4, 2009

MK Sunday, Nebraska, Love w/out Boundaries and Prom!

I should have updated this a week ago, but I just haven't had the chance to do so! Last weekend was MetroKidz Sunday, my kids (and volunteers) blew me away, people thought we'd rehearsed the morning with our kids, and we didn't they were just that good! Each class shared something, the teens read poems, and shared a letter with Pastor Mike. I was (am) so PROUD of them. That Sunday was probably one of the BEST days in ministry I have ever had, because it didn't just end after service, 16 of our kids, got to experience life outside of the neighborhood that day. A few of them joined several volunteers for lunch at Zella's, most of the girls went home with Pastor Mike and Ms. Karen, one of the boys got to practice driving, one got to go to a volunteers house and hang out and two of them went to the park and for ice cream.

The kids are still talking about how they got to experience life outside of the norm, and how much fun they had. It's such a refreshing thought to know these kids are excited about spending time with us in what's normal for us, but at the same time it breaks my heart to know that the things my friends and I take for granted are such a special treat for these kids. I thank God everyday for blessing me in ways that allow me to serve these kids.

This past Wednesday God blessed us with an amazing team of college students, who were so anxious to serve us. They did such an amazing job, leading worship, sharing their stories and really loving on our kids. Not only did they bless us that night, but they left us with a HUGE gift of sports equipment and fun stuff to enjoy this summer, some cool goodies for the MetroKidz store and some snacks for our kids! They left us feeling encouraged and loved! I can't wait to send them a thank you card, telling them how much they changed our lives this past week!

Over the past couple of weeks, I've felt so much love from my kids, it's sometimes overwhelming in a good way, I've experienced things with these kids that they've never experienced before, I listened to them get excited about Proms, graduations and summer college classes, I've watched three new boys become a part of the our MetroTeenz program and I've watched little kids run down the sidewalk to love me. Yesterday as I was sitting in Pastor Mike's sermon I felt such a burden and I couldn't hold back the tears anymore, one of the teens came over and put their arms around me and just hugged me and told me how much they loved me...being in this ministry and this place where God has called me is not a right or a privilege but an honor. I am so glad that I can love these kids and they love me, I feel like I am the luckiest girl in all the land, when I am surrounded by these kids!

This Friday four of our kids are going to prom! I don't know who is more excited them or me! I am so excited to take pictures, spend the evening taking them out for dessert after prom and seeing them all dolled up! I'll post pictures!!! Promise!

Ms. Karen and Pastor Mike Kidney Swap May 12th
Finances for Summer!
More volunteers for MetroKidz!

Thanks for praying for us!

Photo: Cierra

Monday, April 20, 2009

Volunteer Profile: Ms. Melissa

A little over a year ago when I met Melissa, I had no idea how God was going to bring us together, I had no idea that she would be serving side by side with me at MetroKidz and influencing not only the lives of the kids that we all love, but my life. Melissa is a great gift from God to our ministry, she brings with her a great sense of love, joy and creativity, that captures the minds and hearts of the fifth and sixth grade girls she leads. Melissa is not only watching her girls grow, but she is growing with them.

The time that Melissa devotes to her girls outside of Metrokidz, praying for them, shopping with them, taking them out to dinner, and making special gifts for them is amazing. Melissa walked into MetroKidz having no idea, what to expect and the impact that she would be making there. Her love for the kids, goes beyond the love for them in the church, but also into their homes as she makes a point to visit her girls once a month, as well as plan activities for them in her home. While Melissa is best known by the boys for her "mean walk," she is truly loved by all of the kids and staff at MetroKidz.

When Melissa is not hanging out in the 'hood with the kids, she can be found hanging out in the lab (she's a scientist!), going to runs, playing with her animals or finding the nearest beach! Melissa is a wife, a professional and a student (currently getting her PhD in Microbiology) and truly loves what she does!

Melissa says her favorite part of MetroKidz is, "the hugs and the excited yells of "Miss Melissa!" when I arrive at MK on Wednesdays. I love listening to the kids talk to each other and especially when they share their lives with me."

Things that we can join Melissa in Praying for:
-To be a stronger deeper Christian, to be a good wife and maybe someday a mother.
-That my research will one day help people around the world and improve their quality of life, and maybe reach the forgotten people of Africa and South America that live in deplorable conditions with no healthcare, no clean water, and no viable food source.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cupcakes, the committment and love...

Finding a cupcake background for my blog, pretty much made my day and will make the day of the volunteers and kids who check out my blog! You see, a few okay several months ago, I acquired this nickname from some of the teens. A few of the kids missed the van on the way back from a field trip and I jammed them all into my car and drove them back to the neighborhood, as we were waiting at one of the stoplights, this young "gentleman" decided he thought it would be a good idea to try and get my phone number, he used several "lovely" words such as baby girl, beautiful etc. and finally out of his mouth came, "Hey cupcake..." and well the kids took it and ran with it, it has been one that has stuck, and I find myself acquiring more and more cupcake paraphenalia, including cupcakes pj's, a cupcake change purse, and I might even be adding a pair of cupcake shoes to the mix soon! I suppose I could be called worse names! I love it when the kids come to the church wearing something with cupcakes on it, they come running to find's such a "sweet" term of endearment!

The committment
So a few months ago two of the teenagers who are dating, wrote each other a couple of notes on the back of their sermon notes and dropped them in the sanctuary, the first time I though it might have been an accident, but as it continued to happen I really think they wanted them to be found. These notes were extremely graphic about the lives that they were living outside of church, they were a cry for help, both of them openly admitted in these notes that they were living in sin and wanted to stop but didn't know how. Each time a note was found it was addressed, but finally after the last one, I decided something needed to happen, and I began to pray and invite people to pray with/for us. Pastor Mike and Ms. Nicole and I spent a few hours one night after MetroKidz talking to this couple about the importance of not living in sin within your relationship, but also about the dangers of sex, and the possibility of becoming teenage parents. There were many tears shed that night, tears of pain, tears of joy and tears of hope. It was almost three months ago, that we had this intervention.

I am happy to say that two Fridays ago, these kids took a vow, between themselves and God that they were going to stop having sex, that they were going to become pure again. Ms. Crystal and I celebrated with them, by taking them together to the Family Christian Store and purchasing them purity rings, we made it perfectly clear the importance of these rings, and that this was not a promise between them and us, each other or anyone but them and God. They were so excited. Afterwards, we took them to dinner and really had a time of bonding with these kids, opened up doors of opportunity to speak into their lives and have gained a new level of respect and trust with/from them.

I invite you to join me in prayer for them, because speaking from experience, I know that taking a vow of purity is NOT an easy thing to do. Their will be temptations, ups and downs and stumbling blocks all over the place. In fact these two teens have done a very good job of letting myself and Ms. Crystal know when they are feeling tempted, by texting us and asking us to join them in prayer. I am so proud of the two of them, and so thankful that God has allowed a difference to be made in their lives.

I find myself day after day, hour after hour and minute after minute falling more in love with my kids, it's an indescribable feeling, I love the way they come running from blocks away to hug me, I love the way they chase my car down Pratt Street, I love the way they call me at 2 a.m. to tell me what's going on in their lives, I love the way they know when something is wrong in my life or heart. I love the concern that they have for me, so much that 10 minutes after I drop them off at their door they are blowing up my cell phone with texts filled with love, and phone calls wanting to make sure I am okay. I love how when we drop them off at home and take a new way home, they call to make sure we made it back to the church safely. I love the fact these kids want to be with me every second I am in the neighborhood...

I am so excited that this summer, I will really be submerging myself into their lives almost on a 24/7 basis! I am so excited that I am giving up a path of stability, to walk into the darkness, not know what is in store for me to be able to sell myself out for these kids....for God and for this City...I am so honored and excited that God has chosen me...

Photo: Hanging out with the kids on PJ night, rocking my cupcake Pj's!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Building Bridges, Samuel F.B. Morse and Teen Night

Before I even begin to update I must apologize, that it's been almost a month since I have updated. I started school, again last month and it took me a while to adjust to being in school, doing ministry and juggling my two nanny jobs! So I am back now and will do my best to keep regular updates posted!

Building Bridges
Saturday April 25th, marks the first ever Charm City/Grace Community Church Building Bridges partnership. I am so excited as there will be three significant projects taking place, including a community clean-up (cleaning several blocks around the church, and the elementary school, a Spring Clothing give-away and finally a painting project at Samuel F.B. Morse)! This is going to be an exciting time as we begin our summer theme (Community/Unity) a little early, our whole theme for the summer is uniting our community with The Church. But not only that it's a chance for people from Grace (my home church) to see what it is that they support on a monthly basis, through their missionary support, volunteers hours and other various ways they support me/the ministry here. If you're interested in getting involved in what's going on that day please feel free to contact me, or check out this link:!

Samuel F.B. Morse
Recently a partnership has been established with the local elementary school in our neighborhood, for me this is HUGE, not only because this is something that I have been dreaming and praying about, but because this is something that they've been hoping and praying for as well, and well since I'm back in school getting my elementary ed degree, it'll be a great resource for observations and student teaching and finally about half of my elementary school kids attend classes there! When I met with the mentor Principal, she couldn't have been more excited about what was about to happen there. It's already started with a few donations, we'll be painting their cafeteria next weekend and finally this summer we'll be hosting up to 40 of their kids for a summer school after-school program. This is just the beginning of what I feel will be a long lasting partnership.

Another reason why I am so excited about this partnership, is because I mentioned a few blogs back about how hard it is to find hope in the neighborhood. This is one of those places, where hope can be found. There are people in this building who work hours upon hours to give these kids hope, there are several principals who are working to give these kids a better education. When I walk through the door, I see a gloomy place filled with life and hope. I can't wait to be spending more time there.

Teen Night
This past weekend was our 2nd teen night, the teens meet two Fridays a month from 9-midnight, it's a safe place for them to be off the streets for a few hours. We give them a dose of God's love, break into small groups, feed them, and have open rec time. The first Friday we had 40 kids there, half of whom we'd never meet before and three of them are continuing to come on Wednesdays and at least one of them attended both Sunday school and Church on Sunday. It's been so much fun, to get to know these kids, get to know new volunteers and to spend time with the teenagers in a more relaxed atmosphere. I am excited to see what God is going to continue to do with this program.

-Pastor Mike and Ms. Karen Kidney Transplant May 12th, please keep them in prayer as they continue to prepare for this journey. The recovery time will be difficult for both of them.
-Please continue to keep our neighborhood in prayer as it has recently been revealed this could be one of the most violent summers within the last 10 years.
-We're continuing to pray for God to send laborers. We're still in need of several volunteers to be able to grow our program.
-We're praying for the weekend of the 25th/26th Building Bridges/MetroKidz Sunday all in one busy weekend!
-I'm still praying about summer support raising!

Thanks for joining us in prayer and supporting what we're doing!

Photo: One of our kids listening to a visiting Missions Team lead worship and Local Pastor Tally Wilgis!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Volunter Profile: Mr. Bryan

Wow, where do I even begin, Bryan (and his wife) is one of the first people outside of my group of friends to step out and tell me that he (they) supported what I'm doing. I will never forget the first night I met Bryan, my life was changed. Originally he and his wife Melissa, agreed that they were going to support me a specific amount of money over the next year to year and a half, little did they know when we sat in the Starbucks on Dobbin Road, they were in it for the long haul!

A few weeks after our initial meeting Bryan and Melissa joined us on a Wednesday night, it was probably one of the more chaotic nights and just like I got tossed in right away, so did they, honestly I wasn't sure that they'd be back after that night. Much to my surprise, the very next week there they were! This was nearly a year and a half ago. Now he's a dedicated Metrokidz volunteer and official member of Charm City Church, serving in many leadership positions.

It has been with much joy that I have watched Bryan take a class full or wild, angry, but lovable group of young boys under his wing. The changes that have taken place in these boys is phenomenal. I had the opportunity to work with Bryan for a few months during a transition period and all I can say is WOW. Even on nights when the boys were "tuned out" they still walked away with something. A few months ago, Bryan probed his boys for things they had learned over the past year, and they listed every single last thing that he's taught them. His commitment to his boys is something to be modeled, every child gets a birthday gift, every child is prayed up and finally every boy who walks into his life, despite their faults, knows that they are loved and cared for without boundaries. Bryan is one in a million and I am so grateful to call him friend, and brother in Christ.

Bryan says his favorite part of MetroKidz is, "is seeing real long-term progress despite weekly set backs. For example, Jo and J were so angry when I first met them over a year-and-a-half ago. Now, they are reading their bibles, asking tough questions, and thinking about what they want to do when they grow up. On a week-to-week basis, it seems sometimes like no one is paying attention. Yet, when you start to ask them about the things they have learned over the past year, they remember all of it! Truly amazing. "

Outside of MetroKidz Bryan loves hanging out with his wife Melissa, spending time hiking, reading and taking photos. Bryan is also an avid Miami Dolphins fan and Syracuse Orange fan.

How we can pray for Bryan:
His prayer for his boys is that they can start to apply what they learn to their lives as opposed to just having the head knowledge.

He would like for God to continue to mold him into a man that is less dependent on self and more on Him.

Photo: Bryan and one of his boys at last years Spring Fling.

Friday, February 27, 2009


I heard a quote this week, that has stuck with me all week, "Being in Poverty is not just a lack of money or material things, but a lack of hope," I wish I could tell you who said, it but I don't remember his name. But as I was driving down the road and listening to this guy speak, I realized he's absolutely correct. The majority of people, kids, adults, families etc. who walk through the doors at Charm City, have lost hope, and really more than anything I want to give them hope, don't get me wrong, I am so sad that they don't have money, or homes some of them, but I am even more sad that they don't have the hope to go on.

This week I've had the opportunity to experience some of the reasons, why I believe the people of my neighborhood have lost hope, one of them being, that everywhere they go for help they get the run-around, "come back tomorrow, I need more documents, we're closing." When MA lost everything in a fire last weekend, she's been running all over town trying to get everything together so she can find a new place to live and start over, however she's getting every excuse in the book as to why she needs to wait just one more day. It's hard to find hope when the people who are supposed to be helping you get it together have a lack of hope for you.

My heart breaks when I have conversations with mothers and fathers whose kids come to MetroKidz and how I can hear in their tone, and words that they've lost hope, not only for themselves but also for their children. It's not fair that they have to walk with their heads down because they don't feel like there's anything worth looking at, it's not fair that they feel like the rest of the world looks down on them, but what's really not fair, is that they've lost ALL hope for their kids.

I pray for opportunities to be able to see a glimmer of hope in the eyes of one of my friends. This afternoon, I saw a glimmer of hope in the eyes of someone who I've fallen in love with, I love this person without boundaries, I pray that she'll be delivered from the things that are holding her back, I pray that someday she'll be able to love with out boundaries! This afternoon when I got to the church I got to spend a few precious moments with her, encouraging her and loving her, I asked her about school and she looked away, then told me she didn't think she could do it, but you see I know she can. She promised me she'd come talk to me about it next week, all I can do now is wait and hope that she does...but as I walked away, she thanked me and for one second I saw hope...

This glimmer of hope is what I want for all of my "friends" I want them all to start looking up, I want them all to start smiling, I want them all to continue to seek opportunities!

Will you join me in praying for hope for my neighborhood?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Volunteer Profile: Ms. Crystal

So I've decided that I need to recognize the forces behind MetroKidz, so I am going to (or attempt to) introduce you to one volunteer a week, so this week, the lucky one is Ms. Crystal.

As you can see from the picture to your left, Crystal and I are one of a kind, when God crossed our paths several years ago, it was an answer to pray for both of us. He sent me my partner "in crime," and sent her someone who dreamed of the things she did and had a heart to get them done.

For years before God sent us to Charm City Church and the MetroKidz program, He sent us on an adventure, most Friday and Saturday nights you'd find Crystal and I driving the streets of Southwest Baltimore, praying for the people we encountered, the kids, the homeless people, the prostitutes and the drug dealers. We'd pray about the building we later found out was the previous home of Charm City Church. Neither one of us had any idea, that God was preparing us to serve Him in this community, but I think she'd agree with me when I say we are so thankful for where He has brought us.

Crystal is a ball of sunshine in the lives of our kids, she loves without boundaries, she's a wild and crazy as they are (see picture) and the Love of Jesus Christ shines through her. Since coming on as MetroKidz volunteer nothing has changed, you'll still find Crystal out on the streets playing with kids at midnight, praying with the lady on the corner who is so high she has no idea where she is or what she's doing and investing everything in her in these kids.

Crystal currently serves our junior kids (grades 1st-2nd grade), her class is not easy to lead, but she makes it look easy to an outsider looking in. She's dedicated to loving her kids both in and outside of Wednesday nights, she takes her weekly lessons above and beyond the minimum. Crystal's heart bears the burden of her kids and she spends hours of precious prayer time on her knees for these kids. She's not only a blessing to our kids but also to other volunteers, her smile and personality will light up a room when she walks in, and her heart for others is one in a million.

When Crystal is not out in the streets loving kids or serving at MetroKidz, you can find her loving kids in other places, Crystal is involved in Kid's Ministry at her home church, she works as an after school para at a school for autistic kids and finally she works full-time as a para-educator for emotionally disturbed kids. In her free time, she loves to scrapbook, spend time with her family and friends and put her photography skills to use.

How can we pray for Crystal:
*We can pray for Crystal's class, that they continue to seek the presence of God in their lives and that she'll continue to be a shining example in their lives.

*We can pray that she knows what a blessing she is to our MetroKidz team and personally in our of lives and we can pray that God continues to bless her.

Thank you Ms. Crystal for your love and dedication to my MetroKidz and my life personally!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's a Miracle, Abe Lincoln and New volunteers

I really do intend to be better about updating my blog, but I find myself overwhelmed when I sit down to write because there's so much I want to write about and I don't even know where to begin! So here it goes!

A Miracle:
A few weeks ago, one of our girls mothers came to us and told us that she was pregnant again, the problem is she already has one child in foster care and she's only 16. It broke my heart to hear this, but what broke my heart even more is that this child who was pregnant wanted to have an abortion, she made this decision even after four couples stepped up and were willing to take full custody of this child after it was born. Ms. Karen and I spent several hours praying for and counseling this child. She told us that she had already made up her mind and there was nothing we could do to changer her mind, so I just decided that I would continue to pray for her and for Divine Intervention in her life.

Well Sunday, my prayers were answered, she decided to keep the baby, we've not worked out the details yet, of whether or not she's keeping the baby or she's giving the baby up for adoption. But this is such a blessing...

Abe Lincoln:
Last Wednesday Abe Lincoln, visited MetroKidz, I know what you're thinking, but it's true! See the picture above! Abe visited us last year and the kids loved it, so he actually called us about coming back this year. Brother T, comes and shares the story of Abe Lincoln with the kids and all about his life, and then he opens the floor up for questions, whether they are about Abe or about his personal life, he entertains all of them, he also encourages them in ways that I don't even think he realizes. At the end of the night kids get quizzed on what they learned and get prizes. Brother T (Abe) is such an encouragement to us, and we are so thankful for him!

So today as I was coming into the church I saw the local police, questioning some of my friends, I love these kids, I've said this before and I will continue to say it, but I wish I could just go and yank them from the corners and help them see the opportunities that await them. I watched with sad eyes as the police questioned one child after another, and then ended up taking three of them in the squad cars, tears ran down my eyes, my heart broke and I wanted to just yank them out of the cars and love them. I know that these kids are lost and broken and I don't want to give up hope on them, I want to pray for them, love them and encourage them.

New Volunteers:
I am so excited, in the last week we've acquired a few new volunteers for my Teen Program and I am so excited! They are dedicated, compassionate and loving individuals, who are so excited to serve with us. I can't wait for them to get started, and for the teens to have their own program!

What We're Praying for:
*M.A. home caught on fire on Sunday, they lost everything, she's homeless again. We're praying that her name gets moved up on the housing list and that she'll have a place to live soon.
*We're continuing to pray for Pastor Mike and Ms. Karen as they prepare for Kidney surgery
*I'm personally praying for more financial support so that I can continue to work in Southwest Baltimore.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Block Party, Love Night and Visiting Kids

This weekend I was sitting around with some of my team members and we tossed around the idea of having a themed block party this year, we decided we'd give it a whirl! After last summer I had thought that having a block party wasn't in the future for this summer...but a few months ago I realized that not having a block party wasn't in the future. The Block Party is next to the Christmas Party our biggest outreach of the year. I am so excited to begin the planning process, my goal is to have a whole "Block Party" week doing mini outreaches (such as a movie night, water night on the lot etc) inviting the community to join us and getting them revved up for the weekend! I'm already revved up.

Tomorrow night we celebrate our 2nd annual Love Night, it's a whole night dedicated to loving our kids, writing them letters, poems, songs,making them a special and sharing stories about loving them. We spend the whole night just loving our kids, and then hype them up on sugar (that's nothing out of the ordinary) and send them home! I am VERY excited this year, because I have some amazing stories about love that come from our kids, I can't wait to remind them of them. This year a Fusion Bible Study partnered with us, and put together treat bags (with fresh baked cookies) for the kids.

This weekend we went on our monthly visit to see kids, it was an exciting morning, everywhere we went people knew where we were coming from. People encouraged us, helped us and allowed us to speak into their lives. We gathered kids on our walk through the neighborhood, and hosted a pizza/rec party at the church. We had a handful of kids come and it was fantastic!

What we're Praying for This week:
*"A" she's one of our teen girls, who's planning to have an abortion, we're praying for God to do a divine intervention in her life. And for her to allow someone to adopt her unborn child.

*Pastor Mike/Ms. Karen as they prepare for Kidney Transplant surgery, I'll update when we know the specific dates.

*The Gagne's Baby to turn before birth in March.

Thanks friends!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Police Meeting, TLT and Prayers

There was a special community meeting held in the Southwestern District this week, involving community members and members of the SWD police force, I was able to attend alone with two of the teens from our TLT(Teen Leadership Team). I will say that I feel like the meeting was successful and if nothing else comes out if other than two of my teens have a new found respect for some of the officers in our neighborhood, then I am happy! I hope their new found respect becomes contagious to the other kids. Because I think this week, I've instilled in them that the ways of the police may not always be right, and we might sometimes be let down, but they are still working to protect our neighboorhoods and they still deserve our respect.

I felt that the meeting was fruitful because the officers really listened to our concerns, answered the teens questions to the best of their knowledge and got to be a voice outside of their commander on Tuesday. I am pleased and while I don't want to get my hopes up too high, I really feel like there could be some changes in our relationship with them coming.

So our TLT is taking off, I've writing before that I am SO excited about these teens that have stepped up and out of their groups of friends to be a part of something BIG! This week, we had our first official meeting and these kids are ready to serve their hearts out. They are so excited about serving not only within their community but also outside of it.

Wednesday evening we began planning our first event for the junior kids, they had great ideas as and we eventually voted on one that won't be too hard to pull off!

I hope you'll join me in praying for these ten teens who are going to soar, who I have so much confidience in and who I am so excited that God has put in my life!

So we have a few other requests this week as well:

We're praying for a teen girl, who's considering an abortion, we're praying that God provides a divine intervention. That she will see that he has a plan for this child and this child is/was not an accident.

We're praying for February 15th as we invite our congregation/kids to invite their family, friends and foes to church for the day. We're planning a celebration of love followed with a dessert reception. We're praying that God works in the hearts of the guests we'll have that day.

Finally we're praising God for continuing to amaze us everyday, by the people he places in our paths, we're so thankful for friends, supporters and most of all the people God sends to us.

Thanks friends!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I've been thinking about this entry for over a week, and I've started to write a multitude of times and finally today, I think it's time. I've written in my blogs a few times about the DD's in my neighborhood, well I have been able to establish pretty significant relationships with some of them. I've also been able to establish a form of trust with them and an understanding that dealing against the church building is unacceptable. I love these kids with everything in me, a couple of weeks ago I couldn't sleep and I really felt like I should go to the church, so I came and I just spent some time in the sanctuary praying.

As I was leaving I heard, "Hey Miz Colleen, you're not even going to acknowledge us," in my head I was thinking about how it was the wee hours of the morning and I should just get in safe car and go home, but in my heart I knew I had to acknowledge these boys. Boy am I ever glad I did, I had the opportunity to tell them about the hope I have in them and how much I believe in them, even when they don't believe in themselves or have hope in themselves that I did. It was such a great conversation and I was really taken aback by the words that God had given me to reach these boys.

Well fast forward to last week and one of the boys who I had this conversation with came running up to me and told me that he believed in hope, and that he thought he was finding hope within himself and he was so excited about getting his GED and attempting to get out of the dealing. I have so much hope in this young man, I desire nothing more than for him to succeed. Would you join me in praying for "J"?

I have challenged him to join us at Charm City for our Teen program, I've referred him to Coil, and I've told him that if he's willing to do the work we've got an entire body of people ready to love and support him. I am so excited about the potential this young man has!

Thanks for praying with me!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Praying for a father and his kids

This evening before I headed to Fusion, I picked up some of my favorite kids and took them to Pastor Mike's house so they could watch football and hang out. When I picked them up, there dad came out and greeted me. The first thing out of his mouth, "Hey ma'am, how are my kids doing? They doing alright?" He genuinely wanted to know how his kids were, the sad part is it that I truly believe this daddy wants to be a good daddy, but he doesn't know how. It breaks my heart.

The next thing out of his mouth, was thank you, thank you for loving my family, thank you for loving my kids and thank you for being here today. There is a lot going on within this family and with this daddy. I am praying so hard for him, and for his kids. There's a good chance he'll spend the next 10-15 years away from his children. There's a good chance he won't see his kids continue down the successful paths they are headed down.

Tonight as I think about them, my eyes well up with tears, these kids love their dad, even in all of the chaos and through all of his faults. The girls told me tonight that they knew their daddy is saved, but they don't know about their mom and they are praying for her.

Will you join those girls in prayer for their mom? That she may take comfort in the promises that God has for her life?

Will you join me in prayer for these kids and their daddy? Will you join me in praying for this mom, that if her husband indeed has to go away for 10-15 years, that she'll be strong and continue to care for her kids in the proper way. And finally will you pray with me that these kids will continue down the paths of success they are headed down, regardless of the chaos taking place in their home?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Teaching How to R.A.P. and Let Christ work

All I can say about last night is WOW! The class I have been serving in lately is a combined class of 3-6th grade boys, unfortunately it's sad to have such a wide age gap, but fortunately they work together very well, well last night I taught the class and it was so rewarding! Last week Bryan asked the boys to tell us what they'd like to learn about this year, a few of the boys mentioned prayer and I couldn't help but think about the RAP talk I had given a few years ago, and how I so much wanted to share it with the boys! So that's right last night I taught the boys how to RAP!

Now, I know what you might be thinking, no I didn't Rap, I thought about it, but my creative juices just wouldn't let me, so instead I taught them how to (R) Repent (A) Ask (P) Pray. Repent their sins, ask for forgiveness and then pray and thank God for his forgiveness. I was actually very surprised at two things, one who alert and in tune they were and two how excited they were too look up verses. These boys are amazing, they have been blessed with an amazing leader (Bryan) and now co-leader (Mat), these boys are going to continue to soar!

In other exciting news one of my other amazing leaders (Ms. Crystal) got to see what a difference her investment is making in the lives of her class last night. Crystal leads our 1/2nd grade class, full of the cutest, most talkative kids you'll ever meet, however last night she said her class was amazing and the proceeded to tell me why :)! Last night two of her kids gave their lives to Christ! These are two boys, who I know that Crystal has lifted up in prayer. I am so happy for her and for these boys. I am so excited to watch them grow in Christ and be an example for the rest of their class.

Please join me in prayer for all of our kids, that they'll let Christ in, that we'll be able to watch them grow in Christ and that they'll all be great examples of who Christ is!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Did you know....

That a recent survey says that only 38.5% of highschoolers in Baltimore City, graduate? We are number four on the list for lowest graduation rates, with Detroit being the worst with a 25% graduation rate. Another interesting fact is that the suburbs surrounding Baltimore City have an 85% graduation rate. The highest rate Baltimore City has seen within the last 10 years is 47%.

These rates make me sick to my stomach! However, I am happy to tell you that the three seniors I have in my progam, are graduating this Spring and on time. I pray for these boys, I beg for God to reveal a plan to these boys, that they will see there's something bigger out there for them if they just continue to seek and chase. I know that at least one of them has a dream to go onto college and possibly play ball. The other two dream and have potential but they need motivation. I pray that God sends positive males into their lives to motivate them and help them stay on the right track.

I think they key to success in all three of these boys, is community involvement, parental involvement and motivation from outside sources. One of these boys comes from an extremely dysfuctional home, where there is a lot of abuse (physical, mental and severe drug abuse by the father) but the one thing that is a priority in their household is doing well in school, in fact a few years ago there father was voted Father of the Year at one of the schools for his involvement in their education. The other two boys come from a family, where their mother is EXTREMELY involved, in fact she's one of the only parents who's ever said thank you to us for what we're doing with her boys, and told us that it's partly because of us that they are were they are. I've taken these three boys to Saturday school on several occasions for so that they could get extra help, or study time.

I smile from ear to ear because I am SO proud of them, and have told them that I will be the crazy white lady screaming as loud as I possibly can when they get there diplomas this spring! I hope you'll join me in praying for these three boys, that they can keep plugging along for the next few months and that I can continue to motivate and encourage them along the way :)!

Photo: One of my graduating Seniors!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Post-visiting Kids

If there's one thing that I've done in the past few months that seems to have greatly benefited my team and I, it's plan visiting days we had our very first one this Saturday. The core group of junior teachers, met at the church, prayed and then ventured out to visit some of our kids homes. We decided that even though it was bitter cold we decided we would walk to all of our kids homes, all of them live within a few blocks radius of the church. Spending time in our families homes is such a rewarding experience next stop was Ms. J's house, she has four kids in our program two young boys who need a lot of love and attention, and two older girls who also desire that same love and attention. Ms. J also has a special needs child A who we need to constantly keep in prayer, he's losing weight at a very rapid weight and unfortunately doesn't really have the weight to spare, he's 16 years old wheelchair bound and at most weighs 70lbs.

Next stop was Furrow St. it's a small street in Southwest Baltimore, that is very desolate most of the homes on the street are boarded up and abandon, there's not much activity on the streets during the day, but at night it become a totally different place, one that I fear for my kids who live on this street. We visited two families on this street, this was such a rewarding experience for us, not just because we got to visit our kids in their homes, but also because we got to bond as a team and spend time together. We spent the whole morning/early afternoon together as a team, laughing, enjoying a meal together and growing. I am excited for more opportunities to grow like this as a team.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Visiting Kids!

This weekend is the first time we're meeting as a group to spend two solid hours visiting our kids in their homes. I am so excited to do this as a group! Visiting our kids outside of MetroKidz is a way for us to reach beyond them and into their families. On the few visits I've been on in the past I've been welcomed by most parents, but there are a few parents who don't care where their kids are on Wednesday nights, they don't care that we love them or what we're teaching their kids, those parents break my heart. There's also some unknown with visiting our kids, we never know what we're going to get when we go to their homes, we work with kids who live with prostitutes as moms, drug dealer daddies and gang members, so tomorrow as we're visiting our kids, I pray for opportunities to speak into the lives of these people, to love them regardless of the situation and for God to allow amazing conversations to happen. Thanks for praying with us/for us!