The ministries of Friends with Jesus have been busy during their 25th summer since opening their doors in a community room at a government housing project in Bainbridge.
The children who attend Friendship House made weekly trips to Santa Rosa Beach, enjoying Bible study, worship, visits to the beach and pool, and a special visit to the dental facility in Walton County operated by the Volunteer Children’s Health Network. The kids were taught good dental hygiene by the volunteers there and all who visited came away with a good understanding of how the health of their mouth can affect the rest of their body.
Additionally, local photographer Anna Kinchen partnered with the organization to put on a program called Photography with Friends. The children worked for eight weeks to learn technique, how to showcase their work, and how to put on a show for the work to be displayed. The community was invited to a showcase that displayed many of the images that were caught by the children. Because of the community’s interest, the images stayed up for a week for viewing. Kinchen seeks to continue her partnership with the help of donors to support the curriculum based program going forward.
The 11 member Youth Ensemble have been working with Director of Worship Johnny Payne to go into the community and share their musical talents. Payne has been training the group in vocal training, including increasing vocal range, breathing techniques, correct vowel enunciation, and others.
The Stillwaters Shelter has been a safe place for six women and three children since May. The women have been meeting with community members to discuss topics that are important for them to stand on their own once they leave the house. One such topic was the best practices of renting, where they learned what landlords expect and personal safety.
One of the most recent additions to the Friends with Jesus ministry is its Donalsonville campus. Operations Director Justin Gravlee welcomed 40 children to the program. The program is housed in the R.D. Rambeau Gymnasium, which was renovated to make way for the new use. The building was completed under budget and the children of Donalsonville and Seminole County now have a safe place for children to learn about Jesus.
In June, the group held their Clay Bird Classic at Southwind Plantation, raising over $20,000 with the support of the community. Missy Rollins, who leads Friends with Jesus, said that the organization continues to provide empowerment for life through Biblical studies and support for healthy, purposeful living and with events like this, we can continue to do this work.
To learn more about Friends with Jesus, visit www.friendshiphouseofjesus.com and to support the Photography with Friends project, visit www.gofundme.com/photoswithfriends.