In this inaugural year, the Envision team focused on supporting three primary community outreach ministries. These included a Kids Club program during the school year, ESL (English as a Second Language) classes, and the development of a community garden.
“AWANA was a big success,” Robert said. “We added to our attendance each week until we ended for the summer.” He continued, “We have several children who want to come but are unable to get to us because of a lack of transportation. Even from 10 blocks, it is not safe to walk, especially now that it is dark early. We would love to be able to purchase a van to drive kids around.”
The ESL program is quite popular and students continually ask for more classes. While some are discouraged because they require lessons that are even more basic, the team is using this semester to focus on building relationships. “We hosted a game night and an American Thanksgiving with our students,” Robert said. “Now we’re looking forward to our next event where we will decorate Christmas cookies and talk about the meaning of Christmas.”
The community garden has also been a wonderful success. The Essex Men’s team also helped construct garden boxes for inside the greenhouses. “Through the garden, we have connected with neighbors representing 15 different countries, right in our parking lot!” Amy exclaimed. “Several of our gardeners are now coming to church on Sundays as well.”