Published January 22, 2019
A couple of cardboard testimonies tells the story. The first one reads, "Before Mission Hope for Kids … Depressed, Worthlessness, No Friends, Thoughts of Suicide!!" The second one, "After Mission Hope for Kids … Depression Gone, I am Worthy, Have Friends, I want to Live! Thank You Jesus."
Mission Hope for Kids is touching hearts and changing lives and the future of an entire generation of children and youth in Hardin County. They invest in the lives of at-risk students from low-income families and offer them a weekly sanctuary, a place where they can come as young as 4 years old and continue to receive services through high school. The students have their educational, spiritual, physical and emotional needs addressed by caring mentors.
Directed by KY-MSC Missionary Nelle Thomas and a large group of dedicated volunteers, including KY-MSC Missionaries Chuck and Dottie Gebhart, the ministry has been serving the children of Hardin County since 2007. The ministry began as an outreach of a local church, when a handful of church members volunteered to transport the children to the church facility to reach and care for them in a weekly Bible study.
Immediately after the program began, volunteers realized that the children were hungry and started a local chapter of Kid's Café to provide for both the physical and spiritual needs of these children living in poverty. They were soon providing a meal, Bible study, and activities for 150 children in Elizabethtown. With such a large growth, and a desire to do more for the kids, Kid's Café dissolved, and Mission Hope for Kids was officially established in May 2012.
On a visit to Mission Hope for Kids, I learned that they currently serve more than 185 students from preschool through high school and offer food, access to clothes and hygiene items, support, care and mentoring by engaged adults, and continue to give hope to kids in Hardin County, so they can experience a better day and the brighter tomorrow that they deserve.
They serve alongside the schools and other county entities to develop a comprehensive program with a vision to make a positive impact by giving the students opportunities to become godly, responsible and community-minded citizens with a bright future.
Students enrolled in the Mission Hope for Kids program are provided with tools, skills and year-round support to help them overcome the many challenges they face at home, school, and in life. Every student qualifies to attend the program once a week, year-round, and to attend special events like a Back-to-School Bash and Christmas Party.
Mission Hope for Kids is truly making a difference. Would you like to get involved? MHFK can continually use volunteers and resources. Some of their current needs are:
• Someone to assist with computer skills
• Computer lab (updating)
• 50 plastic chairs
• Dave Ramsey material for youth
• Volunteers to help the students as they shop, to build relationships, and pray with the students.
• Summer mission teams to do VBS, sports camps, etc.
For more information about Mission Hope for Kids, to see a video of the ministry, or to volunteer to serve, go to http://www.missionhopeforkids.org/media/.
Prayer Needs—MHFK is growing and plans underway include:
1. To launch a satellite campus in Grayson county, need volunteers and resources. Generous donors have given the ministry a place to meet for its first year, rent-free.
2. To expand the Radcliff campus by adding another day-volunteers and resources needed.
3. A permanent home for the main campus in Elizabethtown, need land/building.
4. A team to convert their school bus into a mobile bus to do outreach in the low-income neighborhoods (taking food and faith to the children) during school breaks.
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