OroNaz Childrens Co-op
Written by: Shane Heldman
We are about to begin our fourth year offering this Parent Co Op, and I am humbled by the way the Lord has provided. He has lavished us with His provision. And He as brought young families to the table. I refer to the table as the place where Christians do life together. It’s where community takes place. The kitchen table is the most intimate place for families to re-connect. It’s at the dinner table where stories are shared, laughter fills a home and kids feel safe enough to share life’s burdens and joys.
When the Co Op begins and several parents show up to serve their hours, they have an opportunity to commune with other like minded parents, exchanging ideas, asking questions, sharing life. While they watch their children interact with other children their age, while they are learning about the world in a safe environment that is their own.
God gives us a vision, but sometimes we under estimate the power He has to fulfill that vision. But if we are patient, and we wait for Him, He will do more than we can ask or imagine.
In 2008 I began bugging Pastor D to let me open an infant toddler center. I had done my research, and I had prepared my little speech to wow him with my brilliant idea. Only I left his office disappointed that day, because he wasn’t as wowed as I had imagined by my appeal. But I waited, because I felt in my spirit that this was something that God was inspiring. It wasn’t until seven years later that I would experience the fulfillment of what I was sure God was calling me to do. In 2015, while we were at the Children’s Pastors Conference in Orlando Florida, I sat under one of the most innovative, engaging and inspiring speakers I have ever listened to. And he said, don’t do what everyone else is doing, ask God to give you an unimaginable vision.
So that night I asked God for His vision for an infant-toddler Center, and I stayed up all night in my hotel room drafting a vision. Not my vision, but God’s vision, and the Co Op was birthed.
There have been a group of mamas who caught the vision, and have literally been share holders in this adventure. Genessa Raynor, Brittny Heldman, Alyssa de Coup-Crank and Rita Englund have stood the test and pioneered through the toil. The CLT adopted this vision the second year with great expectation and allowed us to pay a lead teacher for each classroom. I’m so thankful for a church who supports young families!
We have grown at an unsustainable rate, if it were any other economy, but the Lords. We continue to add classes so that more parents can gather around the table. And we are expecting God to do great things for our community through this little adventure that became a God-sized vision.
Just had to stop and share this Good News, because many are not even aware of what has been happening each Wednesday morning during the school year, or the community that has been taking place on our Oro Naz Children’s Center CoOp Facebook Group. We don’t all attend the same church, and some don’t attend any church, but we are family, and there is community and a love that is so big! And many young parents who are in the hardest season of life are experiencing community at a level that is causing them to gather in groups outside of what we are doing on Wednesday mornings. That is a WIN!
So, thank you Church, for being that church!