Dear Ministry Partners,
If you have any doubt that the work of our EAPE affiliates is effective, consider the good news that Aquila Way, our affiliate in the northeast of England, was just awarded the prestigious, British "Centre for Social Justice Award." This award gives Aquila Way the national recognition it deserves.
Aquila Way was launched 25 years ago by a group of Christian university students to accommodate homeless young people and their children. Housed in five different locations, more than 50 such needy persons are cared for on any given day.
Jo Grant, the CEO of Aquila Way, said, upon receiving this award, "Our commitment to social justice stems from our Christian faith, motivating us to provide a response to those in need regardless of their personal beliefs and culture." Jo lives in accord with St. Francis, who said, "We must declare the gospel all day long, and sometimes we should use words."
I also want you to know about one of our affiliates which serves needy kids right here in America. In the words of one of its founders, a former student of mine named Brooke Sexton, "Yes! And...brings together children and teenagers from affluent suburbs and from "at-risk" urban neighborhoods, aiming to help them become better learners through involvement in collaborative creation projects, using the arts as a tool for personal and communal discovery, reconciliation, and the construction of strong, positive sense of self and potential." Working with about 150 kids throughout the year, Yes! And...gears up its programs during the summer months, including the following:
- Imagination Camp for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. In the context of a ridiculous amount of fun, boys and girls learn to develop their creative skills in the theatre arts, while learning Christian values.
- Summer Theatre Group is for campers aged 5 through 13. These young people get into acting, dance, the visual arts, storytelling, and playwriting-culminating in a production that is performed in churches across the city.
- Shadow Camp is for high school aged students. Students learn all the skills needed in theatrical productions, but with the express purpose of preparing them to be leaders themselves. These young people are trained to put together theatre companies of their own and then stage their own productions in neighborhood churches.
I know what you're asking! "How many more ministries will EAPE help to develop? Already, you have hundreds of young workers serving with Mission Year, UrbanPromise, and Cornerstone Christian Academy, not to mention with affiliates in places like Haiti, the Dominican Republic and various countries in Africa! When will you say that enough is enough?"
The answer is that we don't know!
As long as we can raise up passionate young people with big ideas and strong organizational gifts, and as long as we can motivate friends like you to invest in what those folks are called to do, we'll keep on spinning off and supporting new ministries.
So keep on giving and praying for EAPE's dreamers and visionaries, because the Bible says that when "the young no longer have dreams and the old no longer have visions, the people perish!"
Thanks for all you do!
P.S. I am getting up in years and have recently reviewed my will. EAPE is listed as a major benefactor. Would you consider doing what I have done? The assurance that the ministries of EAPE will go on long after I am gone is a joy to me. It could be for you, too!
ABOUT TONY + AUGUST 2008