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Small Idaho church yearns to fill a van with TeamKIDs

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (BP)–A church in the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention is seeing success with its TeamKID program. First Southern Baptist of Twin Falls, Idaho — a church with a membership of 57 — began its TeamKID ministry in the summer of 1994 with five children from the church.
The club grew to between 50 and 55 in 1995-96 and now averages about 25-30 children, 95 percent of whose parents do not attend the church.
More children would come if they could only find a way to get there, claims TeamKID coordinator Sharon Cummings, who is also the wife of the church’s pastor, Jerry Cummings.
Four of the five TeamKID leaders pick up three to four car loads of children each week and bring them to the meeting, while the fifth “coach” stays at the church tending to early comers.
“We go all over town and out into the country to pick them up,” Cummings said.
The TeamKID coordinator is certain a large van would be more efficient in bringing in additional kids — most of whom are from Mormon or Catholic backgrounds — but the church doesn’t own one.
“It breaks our hearts to know there are kids we can’t reach because we cannot pick them up,” she said. “We could fill a large van easily if one was available.”
Cummings said the church has $900 in a van fund, but needs at least four times that amount to purchase even a used one.
While the TeamKID program at Twin Falls is fun, it is also making a difference in several of the children’s lives, Cummings said.
In 1995, 13 children accepted Christ; in 1996, 28 made professions of faith; and this year, to date, eight have given their hearts to the Lord. Additionally, a youth program that once only had two members now has 17, thanks to graduating TeamKID members who want to continue attending a church program.