“I don’t want to go to church this morning,” Emmanuel* looked at Wadson Delvar, Back2Back staff, with a small frown on his face. “Why do you not want to go?” Wadson challenged him.
“It is too hot, and there are never enough seats,” Emmanuel said matter-of-factly.
Wadson thought for a moment how to respond. The church often was hot and many people were forced to stand for lack of proper seating. He looked at Emmanuel and smiled, “Well, what could we do about there not being enough seats?”
Emmanuel and the other teens at a parternering children’s home talked quietly among themselves and returned to Wadson with a solution. “We want to build benches for the church, but we want it to be our project.” Wadson smiled and began to help the teens make a plan.
The teens have been working on giving back to their community in the last few months. They’ve gone and visited residents at a local nursing home and have been cleaning up properties in the neighborhood where they all live.
“When they brought up the lack of seating at church, I knew it would be a good idea to try to challenge them to come up with a solution that would help more than just themselves with seating at church,” explained Wadson.
A few days later, the children had breakfast early in the morning and headed to their local church at 7:45 AM. The pastor met them there, they gathered together and prayed over the day, and then the work began.
Back2Back staff members were there to assist; the teens were put into small teams with one captain each, and they set about building seats for the church. Twelve benches were built in total, and the teens are attending church more consistently now. While it only lasted one day, the building project helped the teens realize they can problem solve and help each other and community members at the same time.
The teens are already discussing with Wadson other ways they can help give back to their community. “It is exciting to see them brainstorming ways to help others. We are planning an additional project at their church, and we are talking about hosting a Christmas party for neighborhood children, too.”
Back2Back Child Sponsors pour into each teen at at the children’s home through letters and visits, and serve as an example of selflessly giving back. Together, we are all learning how to better be the difference for one. To more information about becoming a Back2Back Child Sponsor, click here.