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The Brook teenagers work with Street Reach in Memphis

Students and sponsors from The Brook collaborated with Street Reach in Memphis to assist neighborhood children. (CONTRIBUTED)
Students and sponsors from The Brook collaborated with Street Reach in Memphis to assist neighborhood children. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Mission work in Memphis with Street Reach made an impact on The Brook students, possibly as much as inner-city children they met.

Chip Woosley, The Brook’s student pastor, learned about Street Reach at a pastors’ conference in Nashville in 2011. “I felt the Lord impressing on my heart that this was (a mission) for our student ministry,” he said.

In summer 2012, The Brook took its first team to Memphis. “I fell in love with Street Reach’s heartbeat to restore Memphis streets by reclaiming the neighborhoods by speaking the truth of Jesus Christ,” Woosley said.

This summer, 11 middle and high school students worked in Memphis, along with lead pastor Brian Mayfield, John and Angela Thornberry, Sue McCoy, Scott Adkins, Hannah Cook and Kelly Woosley.

Each morning, the team visited Leahy’s Trailer Park to lead a backyard Bible club. Taking different routes through the neighborhood, they knocked on doors to invite three- through 12-year-olds. Their large-group celebration included puppets, songs, crafts and Bible Story for about 48 children each day, Chip Woosley said.

Each afternoon, Street Reach assigned a service project. The Brook students picked up trash and broken glass and took a sports trailer into the community to play basketball, soccer and hula-hoop. The last day, they cleaned at Brinkley Heights Baptist Church.

The Brook’s students felt an “impact,” Woosley said. They made an impact “in a community close to our backyard. This area is very dark, but that’s what we as Christ followers are called to go into … not shy away from.”

The impact registered in the Madison students. “It never fails. Friday is a gut-wrenching day when our students have to say, ‘Good-bye,’ to these kids.” Woosley said. “They know these kids have the odds stacked against them.”

Street Reach also operates Brinkley Heights Academy “pulling these kids off the streets and giving them a Godly education,” Woosley said.

For more information, visit streetreach.org and vimeo.com/100592589.

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