Ministry Update: April 2020

Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you for praying for our family, and the children/families our ministry serves.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve been able to provide groceries and hygiene supplies for the AOS migrant/mobile home community we serve regularly through our neighborhood programs. We’re also monitoring and responding to needs of households our KidVenturez and camp programs serve (a good number of which are elderly grandparents with custodial guardianship over the grandkids, and shouldn’t be going out into public places right now). The support of our faithful partners is helping us to serve these households in a time of crisis.

Experts predict that our nation will get back to relative “normalcy” sometime around June, coincidentally the time our summer camp ministry kicks off. Your Easter gift to Breakaway Outreach will help give at-risk children a life-changing, hope-restoring summer camp experience this year, at a very critical time when kids will need to be processing all that has unfolded during this worldwide tragedy. They will be ripe with questions about God, faith, suffering, grief, and loss (read further to see our strategy for serving any kids who may not be able to participate in a residential summer camp due to this pandemic).

During times of pandemic, the body of Christ has historically shined the brightest. If you want to know how Christianity went from an obscure and marginal movement to representing around 6 million believers by AD 300, historians will tell you that the way Christians responded to plagues was a huge factor. I wrote about these historical accounts in the fourth chapter of my book “Shapers: Leadership That Restores Hope, Rebuilds Lives.”

The Gospel doesn’t take a back seat in times like this; it remains our steering wheel. Reaching vulnerable kids with hope isn’t on hold. Shaping resilience in young lives, helping struggling families, and strengthening communities isn’t being postponed. Compassion isn’t canceled. Now, perhaps more than ever in this generation, souls are searching for hope and ready for spiritual answers to the world’s unrest.

As a dear friend, partner, and shareholder in this ministry, we want you to know that our outreach efforts are not paused during “social distancing.” We have been engaged in serving area families facing hardship in the midst of this pandemic, bringing essential food and hygiene aid to low-income households that our ministry serves throughout the year. We are also confident that our Summer of Hope 2020 is going to reach more kids and families with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ than we could have ever imagined before this global emergency.

Most of our friends understand that this is the time of year we are raising funds for kids to go to summer camp. Breakaway provides day camps and residential summer camps for at-risk kids all across our region. More than 95% of the kids who attend our camps in Tennessee would likely not be able to participate in a summer camp without the financial aid of a scholarship. Over the years, we have provided camp scholarships for kids affected by economic insecurity, family hardship, parental incarceration, domestic abuse, and various forms of trauma. Our camps have also been a place of refuge for foster children, orphans, and kids from migrant/refugee communities. We are driven by the belief that no child should have to face hardship alone.

What makes Breakaway camp so unique? It is one of the few camps built specifically for kids facing systemic hardship and high-risk social factors. Everything from our Bible curriculum to the daily recreational activities are structured around building social resilience and spiritual enrichment, taking into account the special needs of our campers. Because of the common struggles that our campers share, they know that this community is a safe place to talk about their problems without risk of being stigmatized, branded, or labeled.

This year’s camp curriculum for our residential and day camps is called “God of the Odds.” It’s based on the Old Testament life of Gideon. This resilient “overcomer” story will resonate with our kids in several particular ways—Gideon was born into family hardship, his future looked bleak, he struggled with injustices, his people were forced into “social distancing” due to Midianite oppression, he had feelings of insecurity and inferiority, he faced insurmountable odds, and yet he saw God come through despite those odds. What a powerfully urgent message for kids living in the middle of a global crisis!!!

We understand that Coronavirus could affect how we flesh out our camp ministry this summer, but it will not stop the impact or the creative ingenuity of our outreach. As we continue to prepare for our “normal” camp ministry, we are also implementing a contingency campaign to distribute “camp in a backpack” to any kids who may not be able to participate in a typical summer camp due to this pandemic or its ripple affects. The backpacks, delivered to children across the East Tennessee region, will include: Bibles, daily Bible lessons, games, crafts, nutritious snacks, a birthday gift card, and a personalized note from a “Breakaway Angel” who is praying for them. They will know that they are not forgotten! We can’t empower kids without your help. Any donation you can make right now will ensure that underserved children get a summer camp experience in one form or another. Thank you for standing with the children, struggling families, and us during this pandemic. We are all in this together, and we will prevail by the grace of God.

God has made us for such a time as this. These aren’t days for fear or trepidation, but days that call for bold faith and gritty courage in the face of an unseen adversary. Nobody understands the concept of an invisible enemy more than Bible-believing followers of Jesus Christ, yet we know WHO wins this war. Easter is an occasion to celebrate and proclaim His triumph over every enemy—including the grave! HE IS THE GOD OF OUR ODDS, and He will never fail you, beloved. Let me encourage you with two unshakeable thoughts David penned in scripture: Psalm 37:25 “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread,” and Psalm 27:13 “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” He will provide, my friend. He always has. God bless you and yours during this trial.

Betting on the God of the Odds,
Jimmy and Cindy Larche

Need Ideas for Your Church Super Bowl Outreach?

Church Super Bowl Outreach

Looking for ideas to use for your church Super Bowl outreach event? Find resources at Breakaway Outreach. All proceeds go back into the community to serve at-risk youth and underprivileged children.

Super Bowl Outreach Video

Power To Win is an unparalleled ministry tool, featuring testimonies from current NFL players who share their love for Christ. Your Super Bowl party can use the power of faith and football to deliver Christ’s message during halftime. The 2016 Super Bowl outreach video features Thomas Davis, a 10-year NFL veteran and outside linebacker for the Carolina Panthers.

Tony Dungy

A devout follower of Christ, former NFL coach Tony Dungy talks about the purpose of pain in our faith journey. A fitting Super Bowl outreach tool.

Gameday Trivia

Gameday Trivia: Enhance your Super Bowl outreach experience with these five NFL trivia PowerPoint games. Also included is a ten minute video countdown set to trivia questions offering an attention-getting interactive timer counting down to the start of your service or event.

Playmakers | Sermon Series

Throughout scripture we find God calling out “Playmakers” and game-changers to make a difference in their world. Nowhere in the Gospels do we see Jesus calling his disciples to partial obedience or halfhearted devotion. The message throughout the Bible is similar to that of NFL playoff football: “Go BIG, or go home!” This is a great New Years’ series to teach in January during the NFL playoffs leading up to your Super Bowl outreach.

Is it okay for churches to have Super Bowl parties?

Absolutely. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will no longer object to “live showings — regardless of screen size — of the Super Bowl” by religious organizations, reported The Washington Post. ESPN also wrote an article entitled, “Report: NFL OKs churches showing Super Bowl on big screens.”

Christmas Outreach and Serve Opportunities

Christmas Outreach and Serve Opportunities

Breakaway Outreach has a number of Christmas projects and outreach initiatives serving prisoners’ kids, incarcerated youths, women and children displaced due to domestic violence, those in homeless and transitional living facilities, and refugee children.

These are great missions opportunities for small groups, Sunday School classes, youth groups, families, children, office teams, and individuals. More info here.

William Booth: Prophet of the Poor

Booth_WilliamHe was called “the Prophet of the Poor,” was born into poverty, and worked in the midst of poverty his whole life. When he died, 150,000 people filed by his casket, and 40,000, including Queen Mary, attended his funeral.

He started an army!

He was persecuted at times for his methods, yet millions have become followers of Christ and millions more in need have been reached out to as a result of this one man’s passion in life.

William Booth (1829-1912) and his wife, Catherine, preached in tents, in haylofts, and in rooms behind a pigeon shop. “Go for souls and go for the worst!” was their cry. Today the Salvation Army marches on with 25,000 “officers” in 91 countries.

Booth once hailed: “While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight, I’ll fight to the very end!”

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 ESV)

He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 22:16 ESV)

We can never live to make a difference while living for ourselves!

… and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5:15 ESV)