Pioneer Supports Work with Inner-City Youth
| by MNU News email@example.com
Senior Addie Limmex is a consistently high-performing sociology and psychology major who enjoys studying human social systems and how they relate to each other. For 18 months she’s been putting her education to work with Freedom Fire Urban Ministries, first as an intern and now as a volunteer. But the work has become much more to her. Now it is a passion to care for these youth.
Based in an urban outreach center in Kansas City’s lower-east side, Freedom Fire primarily ministers to ethnically diverse youth—and their predominantly single-parent families—who live in government-subsidized apartment complexes. Some of the families are refugees from war-torn countries. Some are Kansas City natives. All appreciate the valuable community services offered by Freedom Fire, such as after school academic support, cost-free mentorship programs, and free meals and after-school activities.
While Addie started on her own, when her internship was over she recruited assistance from MNU Student Ministries, a part of student government, to continue helping with the youth. Anastasia Weissenbach, director of student ministries, easily caught the vision from Addie and now the group funds a meal and consistently provides 10-15 student volunteers who conduct activities at one of Freedom Fire’s locations every first and third Friday.
Addie says the MNU students provide structure to their time with the youth who range in age from 5 to 13. They play games, talk, teach fun skills like soccer, talk about their week and essentially build relationships with the youth. They also give Bible devotionals. Senior business administration major Jonathan Babcock and junior psychology and sociology major Ashtynn Burns have also started mentoring and tutoring some of the children.
Addie is happy that many MNU students have picked up the mantle and are continuing the ministry, but says that even if they had not, she’d still volunteer herself.
“For me, mentoring is like being present with these kids—being a consistent thing in their life,” she says. “Pouring in to them, by your time, and just with words of affirmation. I love sitting down with them, and hearing their highs and lows.”