We stand amazed at how the Lord has opened doors in 2016 for Ohio Released Time Bible Education (RTBE)!
WeCARE for Students has been blessed to discover that more than half of Ohio’s 600+ school districts ALREADY HAVE RELEASED TIME POLICIES IN PLACE (read the story). Yet fewer than 30 communities currently provide RTBE classes. That means 90% of school districts having RT policies are just waiting for their communities to organize and offer classes. We thank God for this opportunity to grow His kingdom.
We pray… Matthew 9:37-38 that the Lord of the Harvest will send out workers: that current Ohio released time teachers, board members, volunteers and supporters will share their God-given gifts of experience and relationships to encourage family and friends in Christ from nearby counties to start new RTBE programs; that people with a heart to reach public school students for Christ will stand with us in prayer and financially; that the Lord will prosper, protect and expand established RTBE programs, and that all of us in Ohio’s RTBE community will be faithful to abide in Christ and allow Him to abide in us, called as we are – as Esther once was – for such a time as this!
We praise…Two new Ohio released time programs started this year, including the first urban initiative — Heartreach “Superkids Thrive” – which serves students of Youngstown Metropolitan School District in Northeast Ohio. Director Paris Yanno tells in her own words the story of one young life changed for good:
“This is the best thing that ever happened to me!”
~ Devonte’s Story
These are the words that young Devonte shared with me. Devonte started coming to Superkids Thrive last February. Soon, he was asking to come to our church (where RTBE is held during the school day) on Sundays and Wednesday nights, too. You see, Devonte – like many others – doesn’t have parents who take him to church.
Devonte was like a sponge soaking up everything he could about God. One Wednesday night, I picked him up and noticed he was sad. I asked him what was wrong and he said his mom was moving them and he wouldn’t be able to come to church or released time any more. My heart was just broken because I knew how much he loved released time and church.
Well, it just so happened that he ended up moving about 30 minutes away to Warren, where Pastor Bob – who teaches in our Youngstown schools released time program – lives and serves as a pastor. Soon, Devonte was being picked up regularly by Pastor Bob to go to his church in Warren, where his new church family has embraced him. He is a part of their boys’ discipleship program called Royal Rangers and has Godly men speaking into his life.
I realized that God cares and loves Devonte even more than I do and God used Released Time in his life to plant a seed of faith and bring him into a relationship with Jesus Christ – but now, others are watering that seed. Children like Devonte are looking for love, hope and truth. That is exactly why we do what we do.” – Paris Yanno
As we celebrate this blessed Christmastime in the year of our Lord 2016, our WeCARE for Students Board is deeply grateful for this past year of laboring together with you in the fields of released time Bible education.
So… for all of your prayers, your loving gifts of time and financial support, and for your heart to help bring Ohio’s public school students word of God’s love and love of God’s Word, we give thanks to God. And we thank you for standing strong with us. We could not do what we do without you.
Wishing you Christmas Blessings,
The WeCARE for Students Board: Director Jenni Miller, Gary Frost, Jessica Moon, Sara Pahl, Rep. Bill Patmon & David Wolfe
Considering a year-end gift to our mission to share God’s Truth with Public School Youth? GIVE HERE.