Welcome to our quarterly newsletter, The Good News, featuring stories of how God has been working through Kids Around The World. Enjoy!
The Good News
So Far in 2022…
Million Meals Packed
Thousand Kids Being Discipled
Active Hope Zones
Rockford 1M Million Meal Event
At the end of September, Kids Around the World held a Million-Meal Event in downtown Rockford, IL. This was the first time we held an event of this magnitude in Rockford. We invited the whole community to rally together and do something great for children in need. With almost a year of hard work put in to make it happen, we had high hopes for this event…..and we were blown away by the turnout. We had volunteers come from all around the midwest to serve. Families, churches, sports teams, students, friends, and many more came together to make a difference. Between the two-day event, we had close to 2,000 people attend the event! As a result of their hard work, thousands of children will be blessed with high quality nutrient-rich meals.
Between the generous support, excitement to serve, and ALL the new friends we made, our hearts are incredibly full! Our team left massively encouraged by all the seeds God is sowing in our hometown.
Event Highlights From Our Team
“For me, it was incredible to see how our community showed up from all over the Rock River Valley to serve alongside one another. The joy and excitement in that building was palpable all weekend long. We laughed with old and new friends, danced, sang, and most importantly packed A LOT of meals for needy children.”
“The Rockford 1M meal event was an incredible opportunity to have all our Rockford staff and regular volunteers come together with our community to serve kids in other countries. It was a blessing and encouragement to see everyone put so much time and energy into this common goal for the sake of the kids.”
“One thing that made the Rockford 1M Event so special was the fact that it wasn’t an event for one specific church or business; it was an event for all of Rockford. We were able to see churches, businesses, schools, sports teams, and families all come together for a common goal, to pack meals for children and families in need. Not only did all of Rockford come together, but so did the entire KATW Rockford Staff. It was awesome seeing everyone pitch in to make this event successful.”
Fall is in full swing and that means a well-deserved change of pace for our playground crew from harvesting playgrounds throughout the midwest and southern California. As the temperature drops at our Rockford office, our warehouse team shifts their focus to refurbishing and preparing playgrounds for their second chance at Play.
Our efforts to share the gift of play are being multiplied around the world thanks to the support of our partners and volunteer installers.
Our warehouse facility in Baja, Mexico with Strong Tower Ministries has been busy refurbishing the playgrounds our team removes in Southern California. We recently experienced the first playground from this warehouse installed in Tijuana with the help of a church team from California.
The team from Venture in Northwestern Thailand has been on a roll installing playgrounds. This amazing team just installed their 7th playground of the year and have four more planned. They have been a massive blessing to us to be able to reach some of the toughest places with the joy of play.
Samaritan’s Purse is an incredible asset for us in the middle east. Our team has had the opportunity to serve alongside and teach a local team from SP on how to self-install playgrounds. Their desire is to transform communities with a safe place for children and families to gather. This beautiful playground is the perfect addition to a school in northern Iraq. It warms our hearts to know kids will have the opportunity to enjoy being kids.
This picture of a young boy holding a small piece of garbage may seem insignificant to most people, but for Marko, this shows what God is doing in his life.
In Serbia, the Roma people are known for their lack of cleanliness. Their communities are littered with garbage from people throwing everything into the streets instead of properly disposing of waste. But not for Marko.
He is doing the unthinkable. He is going throughout his community, picking up other people’s garbage and putting it in a trash bin! Why is Marko doing this? Because he is attending a local StoryClub and learning what it means to follow Jesus. Marko has a deep conviction from the Bible stories that he needs to be a good witness to his community.
Misha, our KIDStory Regional Leader in Serbia, shared “I know this may seem small to others but in my culture, this is truly remarkable. The gospel will not only secure their eternity but will bring a blessing to their community. It happens through simple things like washing your hands, brushing your teeth, and cleaning up after yourself, all of which would never be part of the culture if the gospel was not preached to them.”
As Roma children are hearing and obeying God’s Word, lives are being transformed. Marko is a perfect example of that. Growing in his relationship with Jesus has had a ripple effect on those around him. He is doing something with his faith to show his community that he is different and it is all because of Jesus.
Kids Around The World has been serving alongside Jose and Kathy in Ecuador for the past two years. They are using Generation Hope to reach the community of Portoviejo with the love of God. Through their Hope Zone, they are regularly reaching 100 children with physical and spiritual nourishment. Jose has seen the impact taking place in the children’s lives and wanted to see the same for the families in the community. This led to the first GenHope church plant! Jose opened a church where families can meet and grow in their relationship with Jesus together. We are deeply moved to be witnesses of the great blessings God is lavishing on Generation Hope. We believe this is only the beginning of the transformation taking place around the world.