Our speaker today was Rod McKenzie of Higher Up Ministries.  Rod and his wife Jan have been working with youth in the area since 1986.  Their ministry grew to the point where they felt the need to work with the entire community rather than keeping their focus on young adults (though that is still a major facet of their work).  
 

We had eight members attend District 6440’s Fall Seminar on Saturday.  We had most, if not all of the different sessions covered.  Conrad attended two – the one for presidents elect and the one on membership.  All in all, it was a worthwhile experience for everyone who attended.  We learned a great deal and (more importantly imo) met some great new people. 

 

Our speaker today was Rod McKenzie of Higher Up Ministries.  Rod and his wife Jan have been working with youth in the area since 1986.  Their ministry grew to the point where they felt the need to work with the entire community rather than keeping their focus on young adults (though that is still a major facet of their work).  

 

They maintain clubs for boys clubs and girls clubs to give kids someplace safe to hang out.  The kids gather to play games, do homework, learn skills, etc.  There’s also counseling and Bible studies available.  Rod and Jan keep the clubs separate between boys and girls because the two groups face distinct challenges and are often more willing to talk amongst themselves. 

 

The Ministry places a high priority on leadership training.  Kids they work with who exhibit leadership traits are selected to lead Bible study, mentor younger kids and the like.  These kids are also eligible to go on the mission trips that are periodically planned.  Most recently, the Ministry took a group to Haiti to help build chicken coops for remote villages.  In addition to giving the excitement of travel and the satisfaction of helping others, these trips show that however difficult your circumstances are, there are others who need your help. 

 

The Ministry also has an arrangement with a local church to use their fellowship room as a drop in center.  Each month, they have a host a birthday party for all the kids whose birthday falls in that month.  There is cake, music, dancing, and presents!  The Ministry started working with youth about how to get a job – how to dress, shake hands, complete a job application, etc.  They quickly learned that many adults in the area and expanded the program to include this group as well. 

 

As the Ministry has grown, so have their different services and events.  They host an annual Boxwood Bash each year.  This community carnival is designed to provide an informal place for families to learn about the agencies in the area whose services they might be able to use.  Before the Bash, people were reluctant to reach out to these agencies for fear of being labeled or put into the system.  They also work with local grocers and restaurants to distribute food to families in need.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are a key part of this since they cannot be purchased with food stamps. 

 

Sponsors

Interested in being a sponsor?
Download the website sponsorship guide