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?