A group of children at Andrews Chapel Missionary Baptist Church smiled and proudly held stars in their hands. The colorful yellow designs was a reminder of the Bible verse, Matthew 5:14 — “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
It’s a message that many local youths will take away after attending a 12-day summer enrichment camp at the church. It concluded Thursday with presentations, musical performances and recognitions. Markaysia Hobbs, a rising Clinton High School freshman, was one of many students who attended the camp. During the ceremony, she was recognized for receiving a perfect score on an algebra test.
“It was very fun and you were able to meet new people,” Hobbs said. “Everyone was nice and we learned a lot stuff and more about God. I learned more about respect and studying.”
Co-director Rolene Williamson said it was a very positive experience. She also said the success was demonstrated by the attendance of the youths.
“The children were just so involved and enthused about it,” Williamson said. “Overall, I feel very, very good about the program.”
This summer was the second year of the program and was extended to offer more activities for the children. Williamson and other co-directors such as Sativa Swinson, also received help and support from parents, retired educators and other volunteers. The students began their day with devotion, prayer and a light breakfast. Some of the other enjoyments included taking field trips, receiving Taekwondo lessons, visiting nursing homes and making a trip to a horse farm.
Volunteer Hazel Colwell said not only was it good for the children, but for the adults as well. She’s looking forward to helping out next year.
“I feel that our children have learned a lot and had a lot of fun,” Colwell said. “They want to continue this program, that’s what they say to me. They want to come back.”
Along with academics such as reading and math, Williamson believed it was important for the participants to form a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“He is the one that’s going to sustain them and the one’s that’s going to keep them,” Williamson said. “In a world that we live in today, you need to know the lord. It’s important.”
“I think that has been our purpose for this,” Colwell said about bringing students closer to the faith.
Pastor Gerald Underwood spoke to the participants, volunteers and others in attendance on the last day. He also gave youths the opportunity to give their life to Jesus Christ.
“It’s a blessing to have heart and a desire to reach out to our youth,” Underwood said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.