Students minister to at-risk inner-city children
February 16, 2011
Every Friday at 5 p.m., a group of 20 to 25 Oklahoma Baptist University students gather around the clock tower in front of the library.
After prayer, they form a large caravan of cars and head over to the Baptist Mission Center in Oklahoma City.
Once all have gathered, they break up into smaller groups to walk through the surrounding neighborhoods and pick up about 45 kids ranging from four years old to high school age.
Depending on their age, the kids are split into several different groups where they have a Bible story, craft, snack and games before they are taken back home.
Once all is done, the group heads over to Braum’s to spend some time with each other and get to know everyone better.
“The kids receive love and warmth that they may not see in the entire week and they are taught wonderful Bible stories,” said Collin Cockrell, a sports ministry major from Blanchard, Okla., who serves as a co-chair of Mission Center.
“We want to show love as best we can to the kids and people and tell them what love did for them.”
Students go to “Mission Center” for many different reasons.
“I love kids and want to tell others about God’s love and show that to them,” said Jordan Golata, a freshman elementary education major.
“We hope for the kids to be saved, make God an important part of their lives and to remember the stories about God and Bible verses. Mission Center has helped me see how blessed I’ve been, with the family I’ve come from and seeing the hardship that the kids have been through.”
Mission Center is seen as a way for both the children in the city and the student leaders to take a break from the craziness of regular life and a time to reflect and think about God.
“Mission Center is a place where they can have fun and not face the stresses of the world. It’s somewhere where they can have their questions answered and be around people who love on them,” said Rachel Maxwell, English education major from Eakly, Okla.
“Mission Center has helped me see different walks of life. It’s helped me better understand different aspects that go into mission work. It puts faces to the stories.”
Mission Center does more than just help kids; it creates lasting friendships.
“Not only are we getting attached to the kids, but we’re getting attached to the people we’re working with. Mission Center is kind of its own family,” said Maxwell.
“We go to Braum’s afterwards for fellowship and to get to know people,” said Golata.
Anyone can get involved and help. Cockrell said that in order to help, people should show up in front of the library at 5 p.m. on Friday afternoons and car pool down with everyone to Oklahoma City.