As the mother of three boys, I am living proof that it takes a village but I didn’t even realize when I began attending Highland the impact that Highland’s Children’s and Youth Ministries would have on my family.
I met Joe, through my oldest son Zachary, and his son, Steven, on the soccer fields at Highland Middle School when the boys were just in the 6th grade—to think now they are 23 years old! We hadn’t been attending church, which is a whole different story, but church had always been important to me and something that I wanted to share with my boys.
On that day on the soccer field so many years ago Joe told me about Highland and it seemed like what I had been searching for, it seemed like it was meant to be. So, we started attending Highland. While my oldest wasn’t too keen on going to church, knowing so many of the kids in the Youth Program already through school made it so much easier. And while Harrison didn’t know many kids, he was only in the 3rd grade, he liked Sunday school. Jackson was only 2, but he loved hanging out with Jack.
During the middle school years, and even some in his high school years, Zachary certainly challenged us all, but the Youth Group, the Ministers, and all of the folks who helped out with the Youth Program kept him engaged and coming back, and maybe listening and thinking and questioning along the way.
I remember the first time that he went to Passport with the group, I was worried that Carol would call me in the middle of the week and tell me to come and get him, but in actuality much to my surprise, he was one of the kids given the award of honor camper. Something must have been getting through to him. I know that parents are instrumental in raising their children, but I can honestly say that Highland, its Ministers, and its Youth Program helped so much in molding my son into the man that he is today, a caring and compassionate man.
Harrison has graduated from the Youth Group now too, and is away at college, but I know that he too was helped so much by all of the many wonderful and caring Ministers and leaders who were there for him during some very rocky years. Jackson will be starting high school in the fall, but I know that here at Highland, he will be loved and helped in so many ways in his journey of learning about God and faith.
Children’s and Youth Ministries are so much more than just activities for kids (and there are many wonderful activities and opportunities to be community together like VBS Camp, Passport, Lock-ins, Retreats and Guys Group and Girls Groups). Those communities and the discussions and conversations that they have together about life and faith, and all of their shared experiences help to raise our kids into caring and compassionate adults.
I thank Highland, its Pastors, and its leaders for being such a community for me and my boys. ~ Stacey Huse