How the power of perspective shifts the mission field around us
Perspective changes everything. So, when Christ followers shift their mindset to see life through His perspective, the mission field around us becomes clear.
The last 12+ months have given people all over the world a new perspective on many things, and near the top of that list for countless families is their children’s education. As God would have it, BHITC began a partnership with The Halle School of Inquiry in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton and Stockyards neighborhood in the fall of 2019, only a few short months before the start of a global pandemic. This partnership marked the FIRST school in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) to connect with a BHITC educational enrichment program in the organization’s nearly 20-year history.
As closures and quarantine unfolded early in 2020, through the support of its many partners, BHITC met the short-term needs of families from Halle with blessing bag deliveries full of school supplies, food, toiletries and learning activities. A handful of the 30 students even stayed connected with their volunteer tutors for virtual learning in the fall, but the children and families needed so much more, only increasing disparities present before the pandemic.
Thanks to a growing partnership with W 58th Street Church of God and dynamic new BHITC staff member Yomarie Gonzalez, who is a resident of Stockyards, BHITC launched a new virtual learning pod in January 2021 for Halle students. Two days a week during the spring semester, children gathered at the church in front of their laptops to sign on to virtual classes and were met with a loving environment of snacks, supplies, friends and volunteer support.
While the program with Halle continues to grow and evolve, as does schooling, God has clearly chosen these children, these families, this school and this neighborhood for His purposes. The Community Development team at BHITC is excited about how He is opening doors to build deeper relationships in these targeted neighborhoods.
“What we began with the students, families and educators at Halle over the last 18+ months is only the beginning,” says Vatreisha Nyemba, BHITC’s Director of Leadership and Community Development. “Our message to these families is that we are here with you, no matter what it looks like. You have found a community who cares about your children, your family and your growth, and we will work with you to set goals for your kids in a way that moves beyond programmatic and focuses on long-term relationships.”
“What makes BHITC so powerful is the dedicated work from their staff and volunteers,” says Danielle Clark, Say Yes Family Support Specialist, Halle School. “They work extremely hard to get to know and meet every child’s needs individually. Not only have they been a support to our staff and students, but they have also built a strong trust with our parents. They have been a lifeline for our families through this tough year.”
While the needs in this community are great, God is clearly at work. He has called BHITC and its partners to see this community from His perspective – one of great hope, with tremendous gifts and assets – and if He has called His people to it, He will provide for it.
If you are interested in helping urban students, there is a spot for you! The program is growing, and you are needed more than ever! Contact Anthony Giambroni at email@example.com for more information.