PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)- Over the past several years, City Youth Ministries has helped change the lives of kids all across Jonesboro. Now with the help of one church, they're spreading their wings in the city of Paragould.
"This has always been the mission of City Youth," said Rennell Woods, who is the Executive Director with City Youth Ministries. He says they've been praying for the opportunity to branch out to Paragould. "A couple of people from this area have volunteered at our center and they says there's a very strong need in Paragould."
City Youth teamed up with Calvary Chapel Baptist Church in Paragould, and for the past year got their feet wet with a food assistance program.
This past June, the organization decided to start up a summer program for the children in the community. It provides not only a place to go in the afternoons and a hot meal, but also spiritual food. So far, the buzz throughout the community has been huge. "They are coming from miles around this community just to get here. Right now the average is about 30 to 40 kids and one night they said they had around 50 to 55," said Woods.
The program is all about being a positive influence and mentor to help give kids direction to a better future. "We are sister cities and as you know these kids we are working with now they are going to be the future leaders here in Paragould. If not, they are going to be the future ones that are in trouble. So why not make the difference now," said Woods.
The kids meet in the old sanctuary at calvary chapel, and without their help none of this would be possible. "They could have closed their doors, but they have opened up an opportunity of these kids to find their purpose, find things to do, and also a chance to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ," said Woods.
Woods says they hope to take another leap of faith and start up an after school program in the fall. But says they can't do it alone. "This is bigger than us. There is no way in the world that we could provide this type of outreach ministry to these children without the support of a community that will get behind us," said Woods.