A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER
"There is no darker place than the heart without hope. Genuine hope is an amazing thing, capable of turning any darkness into a landscape of vibrant possibility. The pinnacle of hope is the person of Jesus Christ. He is singular source of authentic and lasting change. He is a whole-life transformer. His hope changes a child, an adult, and entire communities when he and his character pass from mere information to daily application." -Craig Smith
“If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God.”
WHY MINISTER TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES?
The importance of family and relationships
The home is a place where children should feel safe, where their practical needs are met, and where they are taught how to relate to the world in a functional way while developing strong, healthy relationships. If the home is fractured, a child’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and relational development is at risk.
Families, particularly those living in low-income situations, are deeply in need of support before they enter a season of crisis, before children are moved into foster care, turn to substance abuse, or face incarceration, and before both children and parents in need feel lost or forgotten.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SPIRITUAL AND MORAL DEVELOPMENT
"The research is very clear: if Jesus is not already part of their lives by the time they leave junior high school, the chances of them accepting Him as their Lord and Savior is very slim (6%, to be exact). With children, it is just the opposite. Because of the challenges and insecurities they face in life, they are very open to being a part of a community of like-minded people who grow together. Children have a tremendous influence within their families and on the choices they make in all areas of life...The greatest evangelical window currently available is among young children.”
We believe true hope and lasting change comes from Jesus Christ. A person’s moral and spiritual foundations are generally established by the time they reach the age of 9*. Research by George Barna and the Barna Institute suggests most people will make a lifelong decision to follow Jesus Christ between the ages of 5 and 13 years old. In a study of over 1,000 adults who have accepted Christ showed the likelihood of a person making a decision for Christ is:
32% for children between 5 and 13 years old,
4% for children between 14 and 18, and
6% for people 19 years and older.*
Because the values that are established during childhood will powerfully impact a person’s attitudes, beliefs, and choices in adulthood it is critical to invest in the life of a child from the time they are young all the way through adolescence and into adulthood.
WHY VILLAGE2VILLAGE IS DIFFERENT
There are many reputable, highly effective ministries and programs around the world that aid children and families in crisis or those who are recovering from devastating effects of poverty, addiction, or abuse. Our goal, however, is not to replicate or replace these ministries and programs. Instead, we seek to work alongside each other by supporting children and families before they enter a season of crisis.
Our goal is to do our part in breaking the cycle of addiction, poverty, and abuse that fracture families by working with children and families before a life crisis hits. We seek to equip and empower children and their families to address the issues of their communities and lead the way to a better future for those who will come after them.
Engage. Equip. Empower.
We believe lasting, sustainable change happens over time. We are committed to long-term discipleship through every season of life - from childhood all the way to adulthood. We aim to equip and empower children, students, and their families with the spiritual, social, and practical tools they need to become leaders in their schools, neighborhoods, and beyond. We hope to see communities and lives transformed by the hope of Jesus Christ. Our ministries include weekly meetings, outreach gatherings, and educational programs.
ABOUT OUR FOUNDER
Craig spent many years using music as the main platform for his ministry, writing and recording fourteen music projects with several songs charting the top ten national Christian charts. He was once nominated for a Dove award for the best worship album of the year and Sesac’s Inspirational Songwriter of the Year.
Though for years his music led him to travel nationally and internationally, he has been firmly rooted and involved leading his local church family in Arkansas along with his wife Dianna for the past twenty two years.
Craig is also the founder of Village2Village, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire hope and provide help for under-supported children.
“They went out and traveled from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.” Luke 9:6
*Barna, George; Re-Churching the Unchurched. Ventura, CA: Issachar Resources, 2000.
* Barna Research Online. Adults Who Attended Church As Children Show Lifelong Effects. URL. (accessed 1 February 2003)