During the week of July 26 - August 2, Operation HOPE took a small team of 3 back to Amityville, NY to partner once again with Freedom Chapel International. Although the primary stated goal was to participate in a week-long, faith-based basketball camp, we went to accomplish more than to simply teach kids about basketball. We went to share the love of Christ to kids who had never experinced love. We went to minister to them, to introduce them to Christ, and to let them know that somebody cares about them.
Under the leadership of Pastor Barry Baugh, Hoop Challenge exists to teach kids the fundamentals of basketball while imparting into them the knowledge and love of Christ. Over the last 25 years, Coach Barry has developed a system that emphasizes the parallels between living a life for Christ and living a life of excellence on and off the court. By focussing on things such as discipline, obedience, committment, trust, & love, these kids are given the chance to see life in a new light.
After a full week of basketball camp, all 130+ kids were invited to a special event called "Rock the Block" where they not only received their trophies, but they were offered a much greater gift - the gift of salvation. Rock the Block wasn't just for the Hoop Challenge kids though. The entire community was invited to come out to hear great Christian music, win prizes, and of course, hear the Gospel Message.
We are honored to have been given the chance to work with Freedom Chapel again, and are humbled to be involved in such an effective outreach ministry. Thank you so much to each and every one of you who gave to Operation HOPE. Through your contributions, we have been able to share the love of Christ to kids who may not have otherwise heard.
For more information about Freedom Chapel and their outreach in Long Island, Head over tofreedomchapelny.org.