In the Fall of 2016, Connect Christian Church came alongside Empower Youth to help support our weekend backpacks in Amelia Elementary School. At this point we were serving 25 students a month and Connect answered our call for help with this brand new school. Connect began supporting 15 of our students at Amelia on a monthly basis. This support confirmed that this new school was indeed the direction we needed to go.
Since beginning our relationship with Connect in 2016, we were able to use their resources and teach a leadership class in Amelia Elementary during the winter and spring of 2017. These classes proved to be as exciting for the students as for the students of AE looking on. We look forward to beginning the classes again soon in this school. Former children’s minister, Joey Rolen was instrumental in this effort and we are grateful for his vision.
Moving into the spring of 2017, Empower Youth received the 15.25-acre farm. What a huge blessing and undertaking. The horse farm had been in disrepair for more than 2 years. Connect Church had been watching our progress and jumped in to help us on their third annual Rise and Build Serving Day. The interim Children’s Minister, Melissa Hess took on the task of organizing this great day. (See a theme? Children’s ministry is sort of a big deal at Connect Christian Church.) This was especially meaningful to our Executive Directors as this was the first Sunday that Lori Conley began serving with Empower Youth in a full time capacity and no longer working as a part time Children’s Minister. Connect began the work day with a very special time of dedication for the ranch and a prayer for the Conley family.
Over 175 people poured on to the farm on September 3 changing the place for the better. This group also packed our very first set of bags for the new year! What a great celebration! We are so thankful that Connect Christian Church connected with us to reach the youth and young families of Appalachia Ohio.
If each picture was worth a thousand words of thanks, it wouldn’t be enough!