New Life Ministries at Grove City College is an organization that sends groups of six or seven students to George Junior Republic each week, to go into cottages of the boys living in the residential treatment facilities. There are about 10 boys living in each cottage. A cottage is basically just a “group-home” where all the boys live like it is a normal home, and they have two cottage parents, which are employees of George Junior Republic. Those cottage parents oversee the boys and their well-being and live in the cottage full time with them.
George Junior is an all-boys institution, working to help at-risk youth re-enter society with more of an education, and better life skills. George Junior is one of the nation’s largest private non-profit residential treatment facilities. According to the George Junior Republic website, their mission statement is: “George Junior Republic is dedicated to helping at-risk youth become successful, well-adjusted adults, capable of achieving a higher degree of citizenship and a better understanding of his responsibility to society, family and self.”
Each group of Grove City students goes to George Junior once a week, on the same day every week. They spend about two hours there, and they visit the same group each week to continue building up their relationships with the boys. During those two hours the students “hang-out” with the boys, and form relationships and bonds. During that “hang-out” time they do multiple different things, such as play basketball or other sports, play games, eat snacks, talk about life, and most importantly, at the end of each visit the Grove City students are able to have a time of Bible study and prayer with the boys. They can pour into the hearts of the boys, and pray for them, and teach them about the Word of God.
When talking to sophomore New Life Ministries member Linnea Fairfield, I asked her what New Life means to her. “New Life is an opportunity to pour into other people’s lives,” she said. “For me, that means forming relationships that are more than just social, shallow friendships, but rather reflections of Christ’s love. The boys are hurting. Their pasts are filled with years of broken relationships, abuse, and betrayal. Getting to show them what real love is, and what the love of Christ is, is an opportunity I will never take for granted.”
I am excited to be joining this awesome ministry this year, and start going to George Junior and forming bonds and relationships with these boys. Thursday, Oct. 11 the New Life Group and I went to the George Junior facility. There we met with the Chaplin and had a meeting about different rules to follow for the year. The New Life team plans to start heading out to George Junior on Nov. 4!