The noise level is piercing as kids fill the school bus going down the bumpy roads of Winnipeg’s West end. Excited chatter accompanies the munching of sandwiches while leaders take volunteers for the ‘Animal Game’.
These kids are on their way to Living Bible Explorers, an organization in the inner city that puts on programs and camps for over 200 children from grades one to six and teaches them about the Bible. The curriculum they teach is tailored to each age group and is often specifically geared to boys or girls. They teach kids about respect, kindness and love.
Volunteer Allie Fligg has been involved with Living Bible Explorers for almost four years. Teaching and spending time with the kids is one of her favourite activities. Last summer she was the volunteer coordinator at Camp Discovery for Living Bible Explorers.
Every Saturday she rides the bus picking up kids, handing out sandwiches and lunch bags, and playing games on the bus. “This is the time when they can be leaders with each other.” says Fligg. The bus ride has become a crucial part of the Living Bible Explorers ministry.
“Living Bible Explorers has had a cosmic impact on my life,” says Dakota, one of the teens who attends the program. “My first step onto LBE’s yellow bus with my best friend was the greatest moment of my life. Without LBE, I would not be in a safe place. It’s a loving place and a beautiful place with awesomely kind people who helped change my lifestyle. LBE is like a home. Heck, it is my home.”
Living Bible Explorers provides residents of the inner city of Winnipeg with hope for a better future. Their programs are strengthening the next generation and helping bring light into homes, schools and communities.
“LBE Kids Church and LBE Teens are the light at the end of a dark tunnel for me,” says Jasmine, one of the teens in the program. “LBE is the whole reason I go to church, read my Bible, pray, and have a relationship with Jesus.”
“LBE taught me responsibility too, because I worked at camps all summer,” Jasmine adds. “For me, LBE is the light and hope of the inner city.”
Many of the teens in the program have attended since they were young children and now volunteer with Living Bible Explorers either at camp or during the Saturday program.
On top of all the excellent teaching being provided to attendees of the program, kids are given two meals each time they come — one on the bus ride to the building and one as they get off the bus to go home. Home visits also occur during the week so that the volunteers and staff have opportunities to meet with the parents of the kids.
“It gives [the parents] peace of mind knowing who their kids are spending time with and where they are going,” says Fligg.
Living Bible Explorers is changing Winnipeg from the inside out, one child at a time and one sandwich at a time. They are giving hope and light to kids coming from troubled homes along with kids coming from great homes. All together, everyone is equal and everyone is important.