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Green Valley Church’s RAs, GAs take fall festival to families in recovery programcomment (0)

October 29, 2009

By Kristen Lindsey

It wasn’t the 400 hot dogs, the inflatable moonwalk or the cookiewalk that made the Oct. 11 fall festival at The Foundry Rescue Mission and Recovery Center in Bessemer special.

It was the opportunity for families to be families and dads and moms to play with their sons and daughters in a safe, drug- and alcohol-free environment that made this festival unique.

For parents participating in The Foundry’s 12- to 18-month faith-based, residential recovery program, that’s something that doesn’t happen very often.

And it was all thanks to the Royal Ambassadors (RA) and Girls in Action (GA) of Green Valley Baptist Church, Hoover, in Birmingham Baptist Association.

“Without partnerships with local churches like Green Valley Church, we don’t have the means or resources to make these family events happen because we pour all of our resources into recovery for the addict,” said Micah Andrews, volunteer and community outreach coordinator for The Foundry.

But these types of events are important to those who are in the process of rebuilding family relationships.

“I’m very thankful I can spend time with my daughter and father,” Christy Martin, a resident of The Foundry, said while enjoying the fall festival. “Having fun with them means a lot.”

Inspired by national Woman’s Missionary Union’s Children’s Ministry Day, the RAs and GAs of Green Valley Baptist began their partnership with The Foundry in January 2008 by providing a meal for residents.

In September 2008, they again provided a meal but added a small fall festival for residents and their families. The festival was a success.

So this year, the RAs and GAs decided to go all out with balloon animals, face painting and a monster truck and large tow truck to look at, climb on and blow the horns.

While they received help from some youth and adults at Green Valley and local businesses, the purpose of hosting the event was to help the RAs and GAs develop a servant’s heart.

“It gives our children the opportunity to minister and have their own little missions field in their back door and gives them a missions-mindedness to look out for others besides themselves,” said Rhonda Freeman, the church’s children’s director.

Eleven-year-old Griffin Davis recognized that the festival was fun for the children who got the chance to hang out with their moms and dads but there was another reason why the RAs and GAs held it. “We do this because we want to show other people that we really care about them, and this is a good way to do it,” he said.

Twelve-year-old Katherine Splawn said, “I like doing this because we get to reach people, share God’s love and help other people.”

When asked why he helped with the festival, 10-year-old Joel Sullivan said, “It’s because I like to see all the kids smiling. It’s kind of like a small Christmas for them.”

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