The stories you’ll see and read here are
why we do the work we do.
It’s why we find common purpose among churches and connect them with communities they can serve.
I’m a local pastor in Aurora and have been involved with Fox Valley Christian Action for twenty years. It’s been encouraging to see the faithfulness of FVCA’s staff as they have affected lives of kids and their families in our city’s under-resourced housing communities. For years FVCA has been an example to the body of Christ in the Fox Valley, of how to care for and interact with people in these neighborhoods. Many local churches have had little to no exposure to folks in these communities in the needy areas of our city.
I’ve been blessed to serve on FVCA’s Pastors Council, which helps to give direction and accountability to their leadership. A few years ago I was excited to hear FVCA leaders talking and planning how to help equip and train local churches to do the ministry that FVCA Community Coordinators had been doing for years. There was a growing realization that it truly should be the role of church to impact the communities by serving and interacting with the families there. It would be done by leveraging the relationships of trust that have been established by the many years of faithful ministry by FVCA staff.
At Warehouse Church in Aurora there are a few things that we love to do. Among them is our Project Shop— which is not only about building kayaks, doing leather work, and making exotic wood pens. It’s about building friendships, with Jesus in the center. With guidance of FVCA’s Community Coordinators, Warehouse Youth group has included fifteen teens from two of the housing communities in Aurora that FVCA serves.
Some of these teens have been involved in building a kayak at summer camp with our Project Shop folks. Many of the Project Shop participants are retired grandfathers. It’s a great fit for many of the teens, many who have never had a strong positive male role model. Recently many of the teens have been learning to make exotic hardwood pens, they are really proud of their craftsmanship! Best of all, friendships are going deeper—and we’re looking forward to connecting with more families in the communities!
– Randy Schoof, Pastor, Warehouse Church, Aurora
My name is Demetrius Tharpe and I am 15 years old. I’m a sophomore at East Aurora High School. I like to play basketball. I have been going to Riverworks and Riverwoods since I was a little kid. I am involved in TRUE with Mr. Cory from Ginger Creek, TNT, and WOW at Main Baptist when I don’t have basketball practice.
TRUE is a teen boys small group. TRUE has impacted me a lot. Mr Cory and I, and the other guys have been at it for a very long time, since I was in 6th grade. We have grown a very strong relationship. It’s so great that Mr. Cory takes his time to come and teach us about GOD and to mentor us. He teaches us about how to be better young men and I really thank him for that!
This year my sister Kevia is in Middle school so she will get to be in the teen class at WOW (Word on Wednesday) which is at Main Baptist Church. My younger sisters go to WOW as well. WOW is a place for the kids & teens to get together and learn more about GOD. My brother Deshawn is in high school so he will be able to come to TNT. TNT is a place to have people more close to my age to talk about God. Basically what we do is we take a scripture from the Bible and have conversation around that scripture.
It makes me feel proud to see my little sisters and brother being able to go to these programs and to learn things that I was able to learn. They are learning things that will help them to do better and want to do better. It’s a real blessing to my family to be involved in this type of stuff. It really makes a difference, I don’t know where we would be if these programs and opportunities weren’t around for us. I’m looking forward to learning more and going more in depth with GOD. I’m just praying to God that more good things will come out of my involvement in these programs.
Teens on Tuesday, Word on Wednesday and TRUE Bible study are such great places to go if you want to get away from your daily life. You can meet new people. Riverworks and Riverwoods have done of lot for people and teens just like me! When you are feeling overwhelmed by stuff around, you can take time and talk to these people and they will listen to you!
– Demetrius Tharpe