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Let The Little Children Come To Me
by David Ritchie
12/24/03
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"Let The Little Children Come To Me." (1808 words)

Introduction
She could socialise with any level of society in Fraserburgh, but every Friday she can be
found at Power House Kids Club. Tonight she was pushing her way along a tightly
seated row of children, and then she stopped and knelt in front of three unkempt children
sitting with their arms round each other. Taking a tissue from her pocket she put her arm
round the smallest girl wiping the tears from her tiny dirty face. Only two weeks ago
their mother died tragically in this town that was once a God fearing community, but now
has a disproportionate drug problem.

It was in the middle of a children's meeting with 233 children attending the regular
Friday night event. As they sang;
"Jesus lover of my soul
Jesus I will never let you go
You've taken me, from the miry clay
Set my feet upon a rock, and now I know "

Some children were standing with their hands raised, while others were kneeling on the
floor. Of course some were looking around, and some were simply following the lead of
others. But then, don't many adults do the same?

To them this is church; this is their weekly meeting with God. Here, they have
tremendous fun and win great prizes. At the end of each night each child receives a
sweet, they also get taught good morals and the need to say no to substance abuse. But
most of all this is a safe environment where for a short time in the week, there will be an
opportunity to meet with God. They can put forward their prayer requests, and sing
songs of praise and also the more intimate songs of worship that often touch the
emotions. This is Friday night; this is Power House Kids Club.

Background
Power House Kids Club started in Fraserburgh on May 3rd 1996 through the vision of a
young man with the call of God on his life. David Ritchie had left school at 17 and
before serving his apprenticeship as a builder spent a year working voluntary with Task
Force 2000. This involved working with churches and holding tent crusades all over
Britain. On attending a Children's and Youth Leaders conference at Weston-Super-Mare
he was inspired by Bill Wilson from Brooklyn New York and a dream was born. He
returned home from that conference determined to do a work among children of his own
hometown, who were not much younger than him.

David adopted Bill Wilson's slogan and it has become a motto in Power House Kids
Club, "Children don't care how much you know, until they know how much you
care." Within a short time local church people began buying into the vision and a group
was formed who regularly met to pray and plan in that order.

Thinking Outside The Boxes.
There is a saying "If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys." To make that a little more
spiritual you reap what you sow. Big thinking has been a part of Power House Kids Club
from the start. To launch the programme every primary school in town was visited and
given a 'colouring in' competition leaflet for each child. There was to be a prize of 20
for the best coloured in picture. Due to the volume of returns, this was increased to 5
for each age group and the 20 for the very best picture. To some people half that
amount in prizes would have been enough, however that was the only advertising we
have ever paid for, and on each Friday night (School terms) around 200 children have
attended regularly. A very high percentage of the children have no connection with the
local churches. On each of the last two years around 500 different children have attended
Power House Kids Club at some point in the year. Fraserburgh is a town with around
12,000 of a population and 1500 primary school children. On the first night the bus we
hired had to make 3 trips, as there were so many children.

"If you want to see something you've never seen before, you've got to do something
you've never done before," is another quote that has been borrowed from Bill Wilson.
In Fraserburgh at least, Power House Kids Club is certainly different. Music dancing,
drama, puppets all took on a new meaning as this large new audience of children sprang
to life on Friday nights. A lot of old barriers had to come down as new ground was
broken and new thinking unleashed.

"Where are they all on Sunday?" was a question that some church people asked. It had to
be learned that for these children Friday night was church night as already stated in the
introduction to this article. Mick Reynolds the pastor of Fraserburgh Community Church
was quick to point out that there was no difference in a child attending Power House Kids
Club once a week on a Friday than an adult attending church once a week on a Sunday.

Another issue to be overcome was the idea that children are a means of getting adults into
church. Another concept to be learned was that children are not the 'church of
tomorrow,' they are a vital part of the church today.


Fraserburgh
The drug problem in Fraserburgh has attracted more that the fair share of media coverage
over the past few years. Unfortunately it has touched families both in and outside the
church. Needless to say this brings its own heartbreak to the substance abuser and their
families alike. It needs no stretching of the imagination to realise the havoc this creates
in individual families and the community at large. However it is not the purpose of this
article to draw the problems of the community to attention. Nevertheless for the benefit
of any reader contemplating a similar work, it is essential to know that what has been
achieved in Fraserburgh has been done in a combination of very difficult and demanding
situations.



Present Position
On evaluation last year it was realised that locally children were dropping off at a very
vulnerable time in their lives, as Power House Kids Club was only targeting primary
school children. At the same time the work in Fraserburgh was catching the attention of
children's workers from other areas, and requests were also being received to have a
representative from Power House Kids Club to visit churches and share about the work in
Fraserburgh. Resources at the time were totally stretched so in order to meet these
highlighted needs, a new charity (Power House Kids Club Ministries Scotland) was set
up last year to extend the scope of the programme both in Fraserburgh and beyond.
Through fundraising the organisation was able to employ David full time this had a
dynamic effect on the programme.

Over the past year Power House Kids Club has seen the following achievements;
? Two new villages were added to the bus route.
? A new program for 1115 year olds called The Underground takes place on
Monday nights with 50-80 teenagers attending.
? Fun House was also started and runs every third Saturday morning for primary
school children. This attracts between 100150 children.
? A holiday club was held for a week in the Easter holidays. On the last day, 4
buses took 160 children to the Foam Factory in Aberdeen. The week's activities
were finished with a parents' night when over 100 parents attended along with
their children.
? The Project Worker has been involved in several children's camps over the
summer. Next summer a junior camp for PHKC has been planned. A link has
been made with Elim Scottish Camp for the teenagers. It is hoped funding will
be found for children whose parents cannot afford to send them.
? Around 30 children are now Junior Leaders playing major roles in the program.
Most of them have developed skills and built confidence as they have grown up
through the Program. They are involved in dance, drama, singing, puppetry and
some handle the sound and multimedia equipment. This involvement has raised
their self-esteem as they perform before large audiences of children. They
regularly turn up after school every Friday to set up the hall for the evening's
activities. Along with the older workers they have a meal together before the
program starts. They are now a vital part of PHKC and Fun House.
? A typical PHKC night includes; Stars in your Eyes, competitions, games,
puppets, drama, stories, singing and dancing. Stories are based on Christian
teaching and good morals as well as enforcing the anti-drugs message.

This is the fifth year as a local organization, but the first as a recognized charity in its
own right, trying to export the local success to other areas. One of the difficulties facing
the organization is to balance the needs of the local situation with the requests from
people outside the area requesting support. With limited resources and one full time
worker the truth is that he could be involved full time in Fraserburgh and the surrounding
area. He could also be involved full time following up leads from different areas
throughout the country. Including Fraserburgh there are now around 750 children
meeting weekly in different parts of Scotland that this organisation has had a part in
setting up or remodelling their programs.

We Have Not Enough Resources.
This work started from Fraserburgh Community Church that met in a hired hall. At that
time it comprised of forty-two adults and their 15 children who had a belief that Jesus
still says, "Let the little children come to me." Had they waited for resources they would
still be waiting. Two years ago the church bought it's own building, which was a huge
financial commitment on a relatively small congregation. Through this time of great
financial commitment the church still paid around 100 per week for buses to bring the
children in.

During this time other ministries started in the church and at this point every ministry is
thriving. The congregation has risen to around 80 100 on Sunday mornings and 120
150 on Sunday nights. Around 85 people in the church are actively involved in some
ministry. The church has just paid off its last instalment for the loan for the property.
God is faithful and the church has experienced the truth of the scriptures "Give and it
shall be given unto you."

Power House Kids Club Ministries Scotland was set up to extend the programme locally
and to help other churches with their children's programmes. Anyone wishing more
information on the work of Power House Kids Club or assistance in setting up or
remodelling their existing children's work are invited to contact, David Ritchie
11 Williams Crescent Fraserburgh 01346 513953, or mobile 07967 122130.




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