Youth Pastor Nathanial Thurman has been bringing the LifePoint Church Youth Group to help serve Rainbows for 10 years this year. “I lead a small group of 9-11 year olds over the summer,” said Pastor Nathanial. “We take time growing in the knowledge of our faith as well as spending time serving our community.”
“Rainbows makes a big difference in the lives of families throughout the Wichita and the surrounding communities,” said Pastor Nathanial. “I wanted to help Rainbows in a tangible way. The kids I bring look forward to serving at Rainbows each year, and have loved interacting with the kids at Rainbows leading them in an art project.”
Due to the unprecedented circumstances, this year the Youth Group had to rethink how they met and what they did. They expanded their meeting area to allow for 6 feet of space between everyone, and had to be creative in the activities they did. They even borrowed extra vans to maintain distancing on the few places they were able to go.
Youth Group members Tristan and Josiah both like to help kids with projects, but to do so this year presented a challenge. “The coronavirus is hard and it breaks my heart,” said Tristin. But the kids did not give in. “It’s been fun to think of different ways to help people, even if it’s not in person,” said Jessica, a Youth Group member. “We’ve had to think outside of the box, so we can still serve even though it looks different.”
And they came up with a plan to create a sidewalk art project in the basement of their church for the kids to enjoy from the safety of Rainbows’ back yard. To make the sidewalk chalk paint, the Youth Group kids measured baking soda, corn starch and water into plastic squeeze bottles. They then mixed in some food gel for coloring. LifePoint kids chose the colors they thought the Rainbows’ kids would like. Everyone loaded up in buses and made a special delivery to Rainbows.
“We volunteer to help the community,” said Pastor Nathanial. “We volunteer because we want to show our community that we care. I also lead kids in volunteering to help kids learn the importance of serving those around them and thinking beyond themselves.”
Through giving to Rainbows, LifePoint youth volunteers experience the true meaning and value of volunteering. Their service impacts not only the children they serve, but also the volunteers themselves. “I’ve loved to see my kids make connections with the kids at Rainbows,” said Pastor Nathanial. “I’ve seen older kids find enjoyment in teaching and helping those younger than them. Some of the best nursery and preschool workers at our church are kids that found how much they loved serving kids from volunteering at Rainbows. Some of my earlier helpers are currently in college to become teachers and pediatricians, and serving at Rainbows was their first opportunity to lead kids in an activity.”
“I also really love the vast diversity at Rainbows,” said Pastor Nathanial. “Rainbows is a beacon in showing my kids and the Wichita area about how to be a community made up of many ages, races, ideologies, and needs coming together to enhance the lives of these children.”
Our Rainbows’ children love welcoming their “new best friends” from LifePoint every year. The Youth Group brings joy and special fun to share with Rainbows. This year was different, but the love was still shared. Thank you from everyone at Rainbows!