Submitted by Karen Smith
Dan River Baptist W.E.E. School is a part of the education and outreach ministries of Dan River Baptist Church in Halifax, VA. Clearly, if children know about Christ and his love, parents also learn about Jesus. While COVID-19 state guidelines forced us to close the school last March, we’ve been able to reopen this fall and provide critical childcare for many parents who are essential workers in our area. As one of only three childcare centers in our area, this ministry is so important. Sadly, not all parents can afford to send their children to preschool, but because of grants such as the Child Development Center grant funded by the Alma Hunt State Missions Offering, a single mother here–who is an essential worker–can.
Last year her son was in the three-year-old class; however, she was forced to remove him because she could not continue to pay tuition. This year, we were able to offer her a greatly reduced rate, so he could attend five days a week in our Pre-K class. The grant helps offset the tuition she is not paying, and we are so grateful. Likewise, we have a student who has been with us since she was two. This year she is in our Pre-K class. Because her mom has been furloughed due to the pandemic, the family was hesitant to register for the five-day preschool program. We, however, wanted the child to be with us all five days, so we offered a lower rate. With the help of the grant, the deficit will now be paid. God’s promise is true. When we give, we receive back two-fold (Job 42:10).
Karen Smith is the Director of the Dan River Baptist W.E.E. School. This year, the Alma Hunt Offering for Virginia Missions is meeting real needs in real time, helping churches respond to COVID-19-related needs in their communities.