If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The typical answer usually involves some big city, like Paris or New York. But that was not the answer a little girl by the name of Megan gave a leader at Same Light Ministries. She just wanted to go to Wal-mart.
Megan’s reasoning was that “anywhere is an adventure if you just make it one,” said Aspen Frederick, the founder of Same Light.
Megan was there when Same Light Ministries started at Town and Country Mobile Estates six years ago. She still comes every week.
Frederick founded the ministry when she was 12, after a mission trip to Los Angeles. She and the rest of the group wanted to find a way to share the same light of Jesus in Lubbock, which inspired the name of the ministry.
Frederick said this is one her favorite places to be.
“We were like, ‘This is an awesome, nice little spot. It’s a gem. We need to go and be out there, and see what we can do,’” she recalled.
Each week, Same Light provides the kids at the park with a Bible story, a snack and sometimes a craft, Frederick said. The ministry members also play games with the kids.
At first, the group met at a tree every Tuesday at 6 p.m. Because they could not leave any supplies there, they had to carry their crafts and snacks each week.
The ministry soon moved to its own trailer, but it was hard to fit all the kids and leaders inside. Then, the trailer got black mold and they had to move into another trailer, staying for two years, Frederick said. By then, the park management had begun to like the group because families stayed in the park to allow their kids to go to Same Light. So, park management let the ministry use a toolshed.
After six years, Same Light has finally found a permanent home, even though the building has its limitations in regard to space and cleanliness, Frederick said. The group has been in the building for about six months now and done much work on it — insulating, painting and placing donated couches inside.
The ministry also gives children back-to-school supplies, helps Santa bring them gifts for Christmas, and hosts events for Thanksgiving and Easter, Frederick said. To fund these events, she uses GoFundMe, always ending up with the perfect amount of support.
Morgan Rawls has been volunteering at Same Light since the summer. She said giving the kids Christmas gifts is her favorite part of the ministry.
“I’ve loved it so much,” Rawls said. “I think that sometimes we are there expecting to change the kids’ lives, but in the end, they end up being the ones who change ours.”
Frederick said some of the kids have been coming for six years, but new ones also come the time. She said she has never met sweeter or happier kids, even though some have tough lives.
“Whenever I’m having a hard time in my own life I think about everything they’re going through and how joyful they are and everything they have going on, and it inspires me to have a better attitude in everything in my own life,” Frederick said.
She said working with the children at Town and Country Estates has changed her life. It made her become more humble, less self-centered and thankful for everything.
Frederick hopes to stay in Lubbock.
“It’s important to me to keep it going,” she said. “I don’t see it stopping anytime soon.”