B.A.S.I.C. Training changes lives

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YOUTH ENJOY AN evening filled with laughter, good conversation, games and a Bible lesson in Long Beach.

Every Thursday night at the Long Beach Corps in Southern California, children from all over the city come together for one thing: building relationships. The program is called B.A.S.I.C. Training (Brothers and Sisters in Christ), in which elementary children learn the importance of memorizing scriptures and putting them into practice in everyday life.

The program is not only growing substantially in numbers, but most importantly it’s growing in personal and spiritual relationships with its children, with its leaders, and with Christ.

Most church programs start when the children arrive at church, but in this program the evening starts when a 39-passenger bus pulls up into the child’s driveway. The bus driver and the bus monitor greet each child with a smile and questions about the child’s day. It’s easy to get a headache just thinking about picking up 39 children, but at B.A.S.I.C. Training it’s a golden opportunity for the leaders to interact.

From story telling to singing songs, the 60-minute journey from inner city Long Beach to the corps is filled with laughter and meaningful conversation. The bus trip is a time to get to know God’s children. It’s a time to show each child that they are important and that people really care about them.

When the children arrive at the corps, they are greeted by eager leaders who are ready to participate, and help lead them through an exciting two hours packed with a free meal, fun games, and a Bible lesson. It’s important to the leaders of B.A.S.I.C. Training to let the children know that the program wasn’t created to entertain them, but to teach them the love of God through one-on-one relationships.

The evening ends when the last child walks inside their house, but the relationship between the leaders and the children last all year long. Weekly phone calls, encouraging letters, and birthday cards are just some of little things the leaders give consistently to the corps children. It’s those little things in relationships that make huge impacts on lives. Programs come and go, but a relationship with a child lasts forever.

So, start getting to know God’s little children, show them his love, and they will have the greatest relationship of all: the one with Jesus!

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