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 2023…
Million Meals Packed
Thousand Kids Being Discipled
Active Hope Zones
We have had incredible provision from the Lord as we continued into the 2nd quarter of 2023. From April thru June, we were blessed to help our partners host 42 food packing events with the support of 14,400 volunteers. All combined we witnessed 3.8 million meals packed for children and families in need!
In partnership with the Diocese of San Diego, we took part in our largest food packing event to date. In one exciting weekend of June, over 3,600 volunteers of all ages came from all corners of the San Diego area to pack 1.5 million meals in service to others. Families, parish groups and students worked side by side to the beat of the music to accomplish this incredible goal. The meals packed are tangible proof that individuals, friends, families and church bodies can put large scale action to their faith in order to ease a child’s hunger and offer hope. Of the packed meals, 500,000 will be distributed by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, who run Casa de los Pobres in Tijuana with the remaining meals being sent to KATW’s partner, Family Legacy, in Zambia, Africa where they will be used to support school feeding centers.
Calvary Chapel Chester Springs has been an incredible food packing partner of KATW for the past 7 years. They have hosted 8 packing events with KATW and in May they hit an unbelievable milestone by packing their 2 millionth meal. CCCS has a heart to serve and loves partnering to pack “hope”. This past quarter 1,000 volunteers showed up to pack a container of meals that is currently on its way to Eswatini. We are so thankful for faithful friends, such as CCCS, who continue to join us year after year to feed children in need.
We had the exciting privilege this past quarter to be invited to the NCCAA conference representing Christian colleges and universities where they hosted a side session service project. While all the coaches and reps represented the different teams of their respective colleges and universities they all came together as one team at the conference in South Carolina to pack meals with KATW. In support of healthy children the world over, their participation and joint efforts culminated in over 50K meals being packed!
Playgrounds are back in full swing with the weather warming up and our hardworking crews and dedicated volunteers removing playgrounds for future use overseas. Not only has our team removed 27 playgrounds already this year but we have shipped out 45 structures to 12 different countries!
As the Lord continues to bring new partners to us with a vision for blessing kids with God’s love, we are experiencing added demand for more and more playgrounds. Recently we removed two playgrounds from the Woodridge Park District in Illinois. This community, for which we are thankful, has been an excellent partner of ours for many years, and has 10 or more volunteers show up each day to assist with our playground harvesting, with even their executive director coming out to help.
We’re excited for the welding program in our warehouse to be up and running, which has enabled one of our welders, Angel, to complete the program, and subsequently a 3 month internship with us. This also laid the foundation for him to secure a full time welding job in the local community upon completion. It was a blessing to work with and train Angel, not to mention rewarding to see his growing confidence as he worked with our team in the shop. He will be greatly missed! Coupled with that, another previous KATW volunteer, Terry, from the Rockford Rescue Mission, who worked in our warehouse through their Works! Program, just graduated from the Mission and now has a full time job at the mission store. Terry has progressed greatly from his days of addiction and we are so thankful to be part of his support network and road to recovery.
What started as a simple inquiry on our website about playgrounds and KIDStory, has now launched Pastor Leonard to a whole new level of reaching and discipling children! As a pastor in Malawi, Leonard Phiri has a tremendous heart for the children in his community. By watching the online training videos Pastor Leonard started using the KIDStory strategy on his own.
When we let Pastor Leonard know that there was going to be a live workshop in Zambia, he enthusiastically purchased airfare and secured lodging to feed his appetite for further training! After going through a KIDStory workshop and a day of “Train the Trainer”, Pastor Leonard went home with his cup overflowing. He could not wait to go back and start training others so they in turn could utilize the KIDStory method, with the goal that more children would be reached and discipled in the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Within 3 weeks of going through the live workshop, Pastor Leonard informed us, “I have shared KIDStory to 17 teachers, who will be leading workshops in 5 districts. I have identified 6 partners: churches, primary schools and other ministries who are working with kids. After training the team leaders for our ministry first, we are now expanding to other partners who have shown interest using the KIDStory methodology.”
KIDStory continues to grow and expand its borders to bring the gospel to more and more children. As the Lord directed in Isaiah 54:2, we are pulling up our tent pegs and making the tent larger so more can enter!
The Hope Zone in the Motete community of Ecuador is a place where children, including Jimber, find immense joy in listening to the teachings shared by their leader, Egdy and his wife. The weekly StoryClub gatherings not only provide an opportunity for the children to learn about God’s Word but also empower them to share their newfound knowledge with others, regardless of age or circumstances.
Jimber, a remarkable 10-year-old boy, actively participates in the StoryClub. Recently, upon encountering a disabled man in the community, he felt a deep sense of mercy towards him. This empathy spurred Jimber into action, and he began frequently visiting the man to share Bible stories from his StoryClub. His visits and heartfelt retelling of the Bible stories have blessed the disabled man in such immeasurable ways, allowing him to experience the tangible love of God!
Jimber’s compassion and dedication to sharing God’s word has deeply touched the entire community. Because of his embodiment of God’s teachings and willingness to reach out to those in need, others in the Motete community have witnessed firsthand the power of love, compassion and the sharing of God’s message, inspiring them to follow suit. His example demonstrates that it doesn’t matter how old you are or what your status is, everyone is capable of spreading God’s love and making a difference in the lives of others. It’s beautiful to see how Jimber’s active participation in the StoryClub has not only enriched his own faith but has become a powerful source of inspiration and a catalyst to bless an entire community.
We’re in the midst of a full season of Global Outreach Trips! Most of our trips involve our GenHope partners who sponsor a Hope Zone in either Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, or Uganda and are traveling to the community to extend God’s love. During these week-long trips, volunteers are building playgrounds, sharing God’s message of hope, and building relationships with the children and families of the community. We have been so blessed to see God do an abundant work in the hearts of many during these trips!