Rise Up! Extending the Hands and Feet of Jesus
Our local community and everyday life have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For Rise Up, this has affected every part of who we are as a faith-based organization by not being able to have our youth on campus with us. However, we are determined to remain active in our children’s lives. Rise Up has re-invented how we usually walk out our calling to be the hands and feet of Christ. We are taking that love directly to our children’s door steps. This could not be possible without generous donations from our local support network. Grace Fellowship Church has been a faithful community partner for many years and we are deeply grateful for the positive impact GFC has made and continues to make in the lives of Rise Up youth.
Under normal circumstances, upon arriving at Rise Up, the children have a nutritious snack and a hot dinner. Due to current restrictions and the economic strain on many families, we wanted to ensure that our youth continue to have access to at least one hot nutritious meal a day that they may not otherwise get. In doing so, we are not only providing these meals for our youth, but also for their families as a whole. Through the blessing of community partners and volunteers, we at Rise Up have been able to serve 61 families totaling 241 people and have been privileged to deliver hot nutritious meals multiple times a week since March 23! As of April 17, Rise Up had prepared and delivered a total of 3,426 meals to our families, and we continue adding to that number weekly!
In addition to delivering meals, while maintaining social distancing, we are able to interact and connect with the families and youth we serve with a personal message of hope. Packets are taken to the families, which include pages of fun educational activities, as well as engaging Bible verses to encourage and grow our students in their faith. Technology also allows us to stay connected with our students and their families. Our after-school staff is in daily communication with the parents of Rise Up elementary youth, as well as many of our middle and high school students. We have an online homework help group via Zoom twice a week and Rise Up students are able to log on and ask homework questions. Also, our after-school staff are making daily educational videos for our students and posting them on our social media platforms. These videos cover a wide range of topics, including music, reading, physical activity, math, art, and community service opportunities.
Thank you, GFC, for partnering with Rise Up to minister as the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these, especially during this challenging time. Jesus identifies Himself with the least of these as though He is the one receiving when He says:
“For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; …37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?… 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
– Matthew 25:35a, 37, 40 NKJV