Substitute the word “people” for “kids” in the following statement and you will begin to understand the philosophy of Six Treasures Ministries.
“Because kids don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care, Young Life leaders show they care by going where kids are, meeting them as they are, believing in who they can be. Within Young Life we call the persistent going out into the world of kids ‘contact work.’ But kids just call it friendship.” Jim Rayburn, Founder of Young Life
The founders of Six Treasures were strongly influenced as a young married couple by their experience as Young Life volunteers. Founded in 1938, Young Life is a non-denominational Christian ministry making a difference in the lives of kids through the friendship and influence of caring adults. Contact work, meeting kids “on their own turf”, remains at the heart of Young Life’s philosophy and has become the basis or our approach to ministry at Six Treasures. Some examples of Six Treasures ”contact work” include:
– Coffee Time: In Lexington, a number of the homeless spend a part of their day at eating establishments near downtown. We make a routine practice of stopping in and spending some time at these locations, just sitting and chatting with the guys. Many of our most meaningful and enduring relationships have developed over a cup of coffee or a cold soda.
– Trips Downtown: The public library and other downtown locations are where many of the homeless in our community spend most of their time. Facilities like the library, provide protection from the elements and access to computers, reading materials, comfortable chairs and public restrooms. Additionally, the library offers escape from what can be a constant companion of a homeless person: noise. Occasionally, we just walk through the park or library and stop and spend some time with some of the guys. This also results in the opportunity to meet new friends.
– Hospital Visits – Homelessness is associated with disproportionately high rates of physical and mental health conditions. Additionally, many of our homeless friends do not utilize ongoing or preventative medical services. As a result, visits to the ER or admission to the hospital are common occurrences. Having a visitor during hospitalization can be strongly encouraging – especially to someone who has few, if any, family members or close friends.
– Social Outings – Sporting events, dining out, movies, church socials…. All of these events represent opportunities to begin and deepen relationships. Additionally, participating in a group outings creates in participants a sense of belonging – something that many homeless men need.