Christmas came to a little early to The Ville thanks to TBK Bank (previously Triumph Bank) and Mercy Chefs! We are so thrilled that these two organizations that have partnered with us for years have continued to love on the kids in our South Oak Cliff community center! TBK hooked our kids up with awesome Christmas presents and Mercy Chefs served an incredible Christmas dinner for all of the adults and kids that came by our community center! It was such a fun night to see everyone engaged and excited to celebrate Christmas and Jesus’s birth!
This Christmas, we took a moment to celebrate our incredible team and our growth throughout the year. When we take the time to get together with all of our staff and Board of Directors, we are overwhelmed with gratitude that God has brought each of these individuals to Behind Every Door. Each member of our staff brings their exceptional gifts to our team and the kids we serve, and we are all better for it.
In December our staff, Board of Directors, and a few members of the communities got together at the house of one of our Board Members. It was a great time to celebrate each other and look forward to the year ahead of us. We are sure it will be a year for the books, and are happy to close out 2018 with full hearts.
Thank you to every person that supports Behind Every Door through praying, volunteering, financially supporting, collaborating with us, being a staff member, serving on our Board, and guiding our Young Person’s Advisory Board. Together we can see lasting transformation the lives of our loved ones in poverty.
Here are a few pictures from the event!
McKenzie is an amazing young woman. She is bright, beautiful and has a vision for her future.
McKenzie lives in a community we have the privilege of working alongside. Her mom is amazing, raising 3 kids and volunteering her time in the community center we operate. She is coaching a basketball team for some of the kids in the community because she heard them talking about desiring one and decided to respond. McKenzie’s mom brought the idea to our team, and we are thrilled to rally behind her.
Her daughter is walking her mother’s footsteps. Like her mom, she has a big heart, and like all of us, she has hopes and dreams. She wants to be a model and veterinarian.
McKenzie is a young, African American woman who happens to be albino and her peers make fun of her often. If I went into the details of what people say to her, you would be horrified. The darkness of the human heart is capable of awful things, and she has received the weight of that. We have cried with her, laughed with her, and simply been a friend to her. That’s what being present in every moment allows for, and also why we believe it is an essential part of what we do.
Recently, McKenzie was bullied to a breaking point. We won’t discuss the details, but I think many of us would have felt a similar way. Hearing, “you aren’t valuable,” over and over again eventually becomes a narrative you believe about yourself.
In this situation, our amazing staff represented Jesus. They simply put their arms around McKenzie, reminded her who they know her to be (a beloved and beautiful child of God), and said they would be there for her. How they represented that to her is what I want to share with you:
They set up a modeling photo shoot for McKenzie, where she was able to get in front of a camera and realize her dream. And, guess what? She was a natural! Since then, other individuals have noticed the gift and beauty of McKenzie and given her opportunities to be photographed as well. The photo you will see below is McKenzie. Simply stunning! I know you will agree.
This is what the love and goodness of God looks like.
Featured on Inspire More: https://www.inspiremore.com/mckenzie-stewards-photoshoot-with-behind-every-door/
Last week, Behind Every Door had the privilege of hosting a worship night with Greater Ideal Missionary Baptist Church for the youth at Village Oaks. The worship night was an addition to the regular after school programming at Village Oaks, and the on site staff was concerned that the youth would not be willing to give up extra time out of their day to stay. However, they were amazed when every single student who attended the afterschool programming stayed for the worship night!
From the beginning of worship, there was emotional and personal atmosphere in the room. This was much in part to an exercise done by Golden, Behind Every Door discipleship staff member, with the youth the day before. He had them line up on one side of the room while he stood on the other. He proceeded to ask them personal questions and if they could answer “yes” they took a step forward, towards him. The questions were things such as, “Do you have both parents at home? Have you ever been evicted? Have you ever had to skip meals because you just didn’t have any food?” The goal of the exercise was to build strength and community between the youth and to physically show them that no one of them is struggling with hard things on their own.
With this on their minds, the youth opened up more than ever before during the worship night the next day. Church members from Greater Ideal Missionary Baptist Church were in attendance, along with our staff, to listen to the hard things the youth are going through, to give them advice, and to pray with them.The atmosphere in the room was one of youth led worship, where the students took the initiative to share their stories, step out in worship, and pray for their friends and their community as a whole.
This worship night is just one of the many great things going on in the discipleship program at Village Oaks! The students are tasked with reading and looking up Scripture on their own, and are challenged to memorize verses. These tasks they view as challenges and are determined to complete them and in the process, so much growth happens!
Thank you for continuing to pray for the discipleship programs at Village Oaks, The Hive, and The Rose! God is using the wonderful Behind Every Door staff to make a difference in the physical, emotional, and spiritual well being of every child we serve!
Thank you for making Bowl-A-Rama such a success this year!
For those who could not celebrate with us with us on September 23rd, here is a recap:
We cannot say thank you enough to our event sponsors, raffle donors, and all who supported us this year for Bowl-A-Rama. It is because of you that we are able to champion others to achieve personal transformation in their own lives!
What began as an extra safety measure implemented by our team has become an atmosphere changing act. What simple thing could have this much impact? Meeting our kids at the bus stop.
Between the bus stop and The Rose Community Center are a few busy streets and major intersections. To ensure that our kids were reaching The Rose safely, our staff leaders Darrion and Tierre decided to surprise the kids at the bus stop and walk with them over to The Rose on the first day of our fall programming in early September. The first day they met the kids at the busy stop, the kids were a little shocked, but the shock gave way to excitement as they were welcomed gladly by our staff.
The second day of school, Darrion and Tierre again went to the bus stop and waited for the kids to arrive. It only took a few days before the kids begun to expect to see Darrion and Tierre when they got off the bus and they waited with excitement and anticipation for their stop.
For children who are raised in poverty, many things are transient. Their home many not be consistent, having food on the table may not be a given, and having parents there to welcome them home from school may be a foreign concept. By Darrion and Tierre always being at the bus stop when they arrive, there is at least one consistent thing in their day. This builds trust with the students we serve and they know that our staff are people they can count on.
As well as building trust, meeting the kids at the bus stop has increased the moral of the students which has increased their excitement for the programming we have for them after school. Having someone waiting on them when they get off the bus reminds them that they matter and that they are loved, both of which are core values of Behind Every Door.