Educate a Child – Minute for Mission October 23, 2016

First, a prayer concern: I’m here this morning because Mike McBride called just after 8 this morning. He is with Flo at the ER. They’re there first seeking a diagnosis. May God’s healing be with them now as always!

Here’s my edit of Mike’s draft.

Back in 2014, our General Assembly adopted the “Educate a Child, Transform the World” initiative with the goals to

  • recommit to education as the core focus of mission
  • launch a church-wide initiative to inspire, equip and connect us to improve the quality of education for one million children
  • with a particular emphasis on children in poverty or otherwise at risk.

Here’s how this is playing out in one church in Greensboro, NC (incidentally that’s the city near where my maternal family lives and grew up).

Starmount Presbyterian there uses 40% of their Pentecost Offering to support the Black Child Development Institute which “provides for the needs of all children in our community, ensuring they are prepared for educational success.”

The Black Child Development Institute was started over forty years ago by Greensboro resident Sarah Walden Herbin. After serving in a variety of educational positions in North Carolina and New York, Herbin became the first black member of Carolina Governor Terry Sanford’s cabinet. That was in 1963. After that, in 1969 in Washington D. C., she co-founded the National Black Child Development Institute.

She returned to Greensboro and after hearing about 36 children, all African American, who were going to be retained for the upcoming school year, Herbin made a call to action by asking “Who If Not Us Will Advocate For Our Children”. She established the Greensboro Black Child Development office in 1978. Mrs. Herbin and her friends worked with providing free educational services for the children over the summer, and at the beginning of the school year they were all ready to move to the next grade level. When the school system refused to promote the children, Mrs. Herbin taught the parents how to advocate for their children. By the end of the school year, all the students successfully passed to the next grade level. Thirty-one of the thirty six students eventually graduated from college.

So in our prayers, remember “that God is at work in our world turning hopeless and evil situations into good.”* Keep children’s education in your prayers along with all those who are committed to this work.