Berean Christian Church (Murphrysboro, IL) began its “BASH” program—Berean After-School Haven—to provide a safe, fun environment for grade-school kids every Wednesday afternoon and evening. Volunteers pick up participating students at school and bring them back to the church for homework time, snacks, games, and dinner. Parents picking up their children are invited to stay for Wednesday night services.
This fall the BASH leaders expanded the program to include middle-schoolers.
“We did not want to jeopardize the success of our current efforts by making a change for the wrong reasons, but with the new volunteers and commitment from the church, we were convinced we could grow and it has been a great success,” said Shelly Ward, BASH founder and children’s ministry associate at BCC. “How can you not reach out when there are parents and kids who need a helping hand and need to hear about Christ?”
One of the volunteers is Troy Humphrey, pastor at Berean Christian. Most Wednesdays he helps with homework and supervises the outdoor activities. “Murphysboro needs this after-school program,” he says. “Parents feel good about leaving their kids because it is safe and the kids get help with schoolwork. I love to see the progress of each student and enjoy giving a true helping hand to moms and dads.”