138 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, FL US 32713
“If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” -Ecclesiastes 4:10
One thing I was struck by in my time at AIC Zion is how the students and staff really care for one another. From “The Baby Class” (Preschool) to church leaders, the evidence of support they show to one another is incredibly inspiring.
The children are used to being in close quarters, and being jostled around frequently. Their one-room homes oftentimes had one or two beds for 4-5 people, in school 2 to 3 kids share one desk, and when they run and play, they do so in packs. As a result, sometimes kids get trampled. This is never done intentionally, and the child who goes down, is often unphased. He or she simply gets up and brushes off the dust and dirt, and keeps running and playing. More often than not, one or two nearby children will also assist in the dusting off process. I saw it time and time again. It seemed as if they were silently saying, “we take care of each other.”
If a child has food, they share with the class. If someone spills their water, another will give some of theirs. In class, they clap for each other when one answers a question correctly, and the examples could go on and on.
The adults have several support groups that meet regularly to encourage one another, including the Pastors Wives Group, the HIV Positive Group, and the Single Mothers Group, among others. Staff at AIC Zion meet weekly to receive encouragement from one of their own, always with a biblical focus. This group of people cares for one another in an extraordinary way that cannot be overlooked.
Just before we left, I had the opportunity to speak briefly to the first ever high school class at AIC Zion, called Form 1 (new this year). I encouraged them to keep working hard in school and to call on the Lord. “And keep taking care of each other,” I said at the end. They all smiled and assured me they would!! We can all be inspired and encouraged by the level of care they are providing for one another.