Coins for Kids inspires step of faith
Each year the national Girls Ministries Department selects a U.S. or World Missions project to tie in with the Nationwide Sleepover. Promotional materials are provided (video, flyers, collection resources) and girls are challenged to give.
"Before each project is announced, we take a team to minister with those we will be giving funds to," says Candy Tolbert, National Girls Ministries Director. "We believe this is critical to passionately portray the project need."
Since 2003 girls have given over $100,000 for projects such as renovations for Hillcrest Children's Home, Mexico street children, inner city ministries in Minneapolis and Philadelphia, abandoned babies in Romania, Bolivian children living in prison with their mothers, a home for Indian street children, and a safe house for women and children rescued out of human trafficking in Belgium. Some districts give $12,000 to $15,000 regularly as leaders and girls catch the vision for compassion ministry in the U.S. and around the world.
"Place of Joy South Africa is our focus this year," adds Tolbert. "Funds raised will provide cooking centers in a cooperative project between local churches and missionaries Earl and Laura Goodrich. Churches will open after school centers where children affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS can come to receive tutoring, hear the gospel message, play games, receive a nutritious meal before going home and counseling if needed."
Since posting the project on the website April 1, the national office has learned of three churches that are taking a step of faith to raise enough money to build and equip one cooking center (zozo hut) - $5,000.
"We are taking a step in faith!" says Doreen Grindahl, Mpact Coordinator from Rochester (MN) Assembly of God. "We have only raised several hundred dollars in the past. Building a zozo hut to feed children is a concept people of all age groups can grasp. I am excited to see what will happen as the children collect money in their boxes."
The entire congregation of Foothills Assembly of God in Yuma, Arizona, has accepted the challenge to raise funds to build two zozo huts, or $10,000. This too is a step of faith considering their largest Coins for Kids offering to date was $2,000 for India.
"This will be a collaborative effort," states Leesa Baker, Ministries Coordinator. "The girls are filling M&M's mini containers faithfully already. And our adults are very generous to missions and everyone believes that we can reach this goal."
Foothills AG plans to frame out a building with the dimensions of a zozo hut. Items similar to those found in a true zozo hut will be placed inside. This display will be in the church lobby so that congregants can go beyond pictures and actually walk through the model.
"I believe that when people touch this mock up, the project will come alive before them," Baker continues. "They will understand more deeply the need of these South African children."
To learn how your church can use Coins for Kids to teach girls about compassion ministry and the world around them, visit ngmevents.ag.org/cfk.