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