The Center in Stockton, California
The Center is WGM’s major ministry in Stockton, California, touching the lives of thousands of children and youth each year. The Center is an after-school drop-in center for at-risk kids ranging in age from preschool through high school. The majority of these children are from single-parent families, many of which are consumed by drugs and/or alcohol and the gang lifestyle.
Working under the motto, “Giving faith, hope, and love to inner-city kids and their families,” The Center offers alternative activities to kids who would otherwise be home alone or running the streets. Such activities include Bible Club, recreation, crafts, snacks, camps, and the Learning Center. These programs are geared to teaching the kids the skills they’ll need to become productive members in their communities. More importantly, the kids are introduced to Jesus Christ, giving them a constant in their lives so they can make good decisions and live for Him.
Since the children who come to The Center are often leery of accepting people, WGM missionaries Bob and Lisa Margaron take time to build relationships and lay a foundation of love and God’s Word, with firm but loving boundaries. Through programs at The Center, these kids learn that Christ is the One they can depend on because He will never leave them or forsake them.
A Day At The Center
Here’s an inside look at a typical day with Bob and Lisa Margaron and their special kids at The Center in Stockton, California.
3 p.m.—Bob and Lisa open The Center. When the kids arrive, each child writes his or her name in the sign-up book. Then it is time to either eat a snack or check out a ball or game for recreation.
4 p.m.—Bob and Lisa round up the kids for Bible Club. First, Bob and Lisa lead prayer time after asking the kids if they have any prayer requests. It is then time to sing. Kids at The Center enjoy singing “I Am a C,” “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High,” and “Nothing But the Blood.” Bob and Lisa take turns telling the Bible story each day, but this special time together always ends with the children memorizing a Bible verse.
5 p.m.—The Learning Center opens, giving the children the opportunity to play educational computer and board games or borrow a book from the center’s library. Bob and Lisa are also available to help the kids with homework.
6 p.m.—It’s time for The Center to close. A piece of candy is given to each child who helps clean up before closing time.