Macaroni Mondays

Macaroni Mondays

In rural northern Maine, the poverty level is very high, according to Kayla Thompson, Youth For Christ’s director there.

“Most of our kids do not come from a two-parent household, and the drug pandemic is huge. Most of our kids are from families that are fighting that fight, and they’re just immersed in it. So that’s the everyday battle our kids face.”

Kayla sees both great need and great potential in Howland, Maine, where YFC Northern Maine is based.

“When we first began our ministry in 2017, we didn’t know where it was going to take us,” she said. “Then a property came up for sale, and we prayed about it. It was in the heart of town and within walking distance of the schools. We thought, ‘It would be so cool to have a spot where the kids could go.’ We prayed through all of this, and the whole community came around. They helped us with the building. We are so fortunate to have both community support and school support.”

It's in this building where Kayla and her ministry team host Macaroni Mondays, where every Monday they make big crockpots of macaroni and cheese and open the doors for kids to come after school.

“It seems like such an insignificant, funny thing, but for some kids, other than eating lunch at school, this is the only sure place for them to have a warm meal in a warm building. They have consistency here, where there is no consistency in other areas of their lives. That’s been one of our biggest ministry models. We’ve been able to connect with the kids this way, and it’s been really good.”

Given the additional challenges of dealing with the coronavirus crisis, she says the kids are just ecstatic to get together, and Kayla believes that support and structure help these young people see their way to God.

“It is amazing what a bowl of macaroni can do because that’s when we’ve had the ‘realest’ conversations with the kids,” she said. “That’s when they share what’s going on at home—and the conversations open up from there.”

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