About two years ago, leaders of a local church called The Mission approached James Woodruff, recent ACU graduate from Nashville, Tenn. and a group of his friends with an idea.
The idea was to create a sense of community in the neighborhoods and apartment complexes surrounding the church building. Out of this idea, Operation Home Front was born.
Each Wednesday night, leaders and volunteers from the church meet at two different government-run apartment complexes down the street from The Mission. Armed with jump ropes, dodgeballs and buckets of chalk, the volunteers invite the children of the complexes to play.
“We’re not doing a whole lot except giving the kids something to look forward to each week and giving their parents a little break,” said Woodruff.
Operation Home Front was not an easy mission to begin. Woodruff said the families were not very trusting in its beginning stages, but after time, the community began looking at it differently.
However, because the apartments are considered government housing, the occupants never stay long and new occupants must learn to trust the volunteers.
“A lot of kids come and go,” said Ian Smith, senior youth and family ministry major from Waco.”They’ll get moved in and the next week be gone.”
Smith is a member of the church and works as a servant leader for Operation Homefront.
All are invited to worship and serve at the Mission,Â be it the homeless, government funded families, wealthy individuals or college kids.