In 2011 3/20 partnered with Xavier Wortham, Executive Director of the Oxford Housing Authority, to pilot a new program where students could learn to swim, kneeboard and find answers to the challenges they face through God’s Word. That summer we worked with seven students and at the end of the program they all wanted to know why it had to end.
We were convinced that it did not have to end so we decided this program would continue and it would be called "The Joshua Project" based on Joshua 1:8-9.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
We believe that with God’s help each student we can be strong and courageous.
Thiis Project was developed around a reward system (2012 Grand Prize winner, Noah Upchurch pictured to the right) and each week students accrue points based on areas such as: attitude, willingness to learn, memorization of scripture, being a team player and the completion of assignments. Each week consisted of swim lessons, kneeboard lessons, Bible study and chores. Each day ended with dinner.
All participants are assigned an adult mentor who mets with them weekly, encourages them to push past their fears, reviews memory verses and answers any questions they might have from the Bible study time.
Sara Upchurch, the parent of one of the participants, said “We love the Joshua Project so much! The only problem is it’s not long enough. It’s funny I say that because I had a hard time releasing my child to go with stranges. However, Chris was the best in the parent meeting for he was very honest and sincere.”