Open Doors, Open Books, Open Hearts
Two years ago, I walked into the principal's office at William Cramp Elementary School wondering how to develop a deeper connections with her and her school. Over the next year, we discussed ideas like helping with recess or picking up trash. However, none of those options allowed us to be inside the school, getting to know the staff and developing deeper relationships with the students.
William Cramp Elementary School is the local public elementary school in our neighborhood. Approximately 500 students K-5 attend this school each year, and Urban Hope sees at least 60% of those students come through our doors in children's ministry.
I remember the meeting last year when the principal proposed the idea that we could help to freshen up the school library, which had been closed for the last five years. She said it on a whim, and both of us thought at the time that it could never work. However, God is known in our lives to turn our "nevers" into something far greater than we could have ever asked or imagined.
The students voted last December on the theme that they wanted for their library. They chose the LEGO roller coaster theme. Ashli, a staff member here at Urban Hope, took their dreams and made them a reality in the form of a gigantic mural. The mural was completed in May, but there was still so much more work to be done.
Today, we took a team of 13 people to the Cramp school library once again to finish all of the general painting around this massive space. Once the painting is finished, it will finally be time to dust off the books of five years of dust, redesign a much more kid-friendly library, and open the doors of the library to the school and the community.
Please pray with us that we would be able to complete this project by January. But, there is something so much deeper than the surface level painting, reorganizing, and redecorating. The library is our chance as a church to see students once a week in their school environment, to show teachers and staff the love of Jesus through our desire to see kids succeed in their education, and most importantly to see God transform this school by the power of the Holy Spirit.