Albany-- Children in the neighborhoods near Tift Avenue and Madison Street get a special treat on the weekends. "We've been coming here every Saturday," says 11-year-old Deron Cheese.
On Saturdays, a big, red reminder of happiness rolls around. "We just come out about 11 o'clock and honk our horn throughout the neighborhood and wake everybody up," says Children's Minister Lisa Moag.
The Saturday wake-up from the Jericho Club gets the kids hands up. As they sit on tarp, they're anxious for stories, games, and prizes. But the Jericho Club means much more than fun and games. It's about long-term life lessons.
"As much as we can be a part of their lives and impart God to them, we think it'll change their life," says Moag. With the help of Billy the puppet and Lt. James Williams of the Albany Police Department, this weekend's life lesson is about a growing problem. "How to stay away from bullies and gangs," says 11-year-old Michelle Lewis. "It's always important to start at the youngest age and that way you're training them and they won't depart from that," says Lt. Williams.
"We learned that if we say no to gangs, Satan can't touch us," says Cheese.
11-year-old Deron hears the message loud and clear and looks forward to his lessons everytime the red trailer comes around. He says, "I'm thankful I get up in the morning to go to the Jericho Club." It's a club that began with only 3 kids attending but now reaches dozens of kids of all ages. "I'm really thankful," says Michelle.
"As much as we can touch their lives, we want to," says Moag.
It's been ten years of touching young lives. "We've just seen a whole change in the area, not because of us but because of God," says They hope to continue bringing down the walls with a club called Jericho.
The Jericho Club is one of four urban missions. The group also picks kids up on Sundays to take them to Sunday School at Christian Covenant Church. They also have homework clubs for the kids.