Melody Answers some FAQ’s

After School Club -1999How Big is Cloud and Fire?

In 2010 we served over 500 youth. How did we do it?

When Cloud and Fire began in 1999, we had a core group of 15 youth. The same kids stayed with us throughout their middle school and high school years, and we invested into their lives through our Friday after school club, field trips, and camping. As a result, many of them came to faith in Christ, and all of them had an understanding of how to do that. When they graduated high school, we wondered if our work was done. That was in 2004, and it became a turning point for Cloud and Fire.

Last year Cloud and Fire Ministries helped 509 young people. If you’ve ever visited us, you might wonder how that is possible, because our facility is very small. We certainly don’t have 500 youth every day in our youth center (though some day, we hope we will!)! So how do we do it?

About 40 neighborhood kids  hang out with us every day after school (that’s all we have room for right now). Another 30 or so older attend our YouthBuild Charter School and construction training program. Those two programs represent the kids we see every day. Some people think those are the only youth Cloud and Fire helps. But that’s just the beginning. Workshops like our LA Youth at Work draw another 100 youth each year who want to learn to apply for jobs. They usually just come for a few visits and then are gone when the workshops are completed. So where are all the other youth?

Cloud and Fire’s True Freedom program helps over 200 incarcerated youth each year learn to cope with anger, frustration, and aggression. This powerful program is nearly invisible, because we aren’t able to share photos or even stories of these youth.  But it is this work that has helped us understand gang mentality and understand the horrible lifestyle that is the cause of so much violence among urban youth today.

I still haven’t mentioned a few of our programs. Which ones?

An Opportunity That Comes Once Every Five Years

*** Originally Posted: by Melody Rossi on Tue, 04/05/2011 – 11:41am

This month, there’s a chance that comes around only once every five years.

Climb Aboard the Bible Bus!

We can climb aboard the “Bible Bus” and at the very start of the journey and join radio teacher J. Vernon McGee as he begins a new series on Thru the Bible that takes listeners through every chapter and verse in the Bible in five years.  McGee is one of my favorite Bible teachers, and I try to catch the program every morning at 6 a.m. on KKLA (99.5 FM).  Not only do I get a good dose of Bible study, but Dr. McGee’s Texas drawl and homespun stories remind me so much of the way my grandfather taught me about the Lord.

Although Dr. McGee died in 1988, his program is so popular that it has been on the air continuously since his death—both in the United States and around the globe.  Dr McGee is probably best known and loved for his practical, down-to-earth, and often very funny stories that illustrate Bible principles, but he was also a serious student of the Bible and a pastor of several churches, including the famous Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles.

Thru the Bible broadcasts lead listeners thru the entire Bible in 5 years by reading first one book from the Old Testament, and then one from the New Testament. The pace is just right, and allows for in-depth study without growing tedious, especially because Dr. McGee makes the Bible come alive. I have grown to really love his simple, down-to-earth explanations, and I refer to his Bible commentaries when I want to understand a passage.

Thru the Bible materials are free downloads, and there is no obligation to purchase anything.  The program airs in Los Angeles at 5:55 a.m. and 9 p.m. on KKLA, but can be heard on many radio stations and on the web.

If you aren’t already involved in a Bible reading or Bible study program, I encourage you to “climb aboard the Bible Bus,” and join Dr. J. Vernon McGee (and me) every day to go thru the Bible in 5 years. Start with Genesis 1 on April 18, 2011.  Or, if you miss that date, just join in whenever you can!