At our October meeting we look forward to welcoming Eric Wieckmann from CHIPS (Christians helping in Primary Schools) as our guest speaker.
Eric is a committed Christian and was trained in evangelism with the Church Army in Sydney under Reverend Graeme McRobb.
Eric has focussed his ministry on children (and adults) who have suffered trauma, and has reached out to thousands of children in schools in Casey. He has also run programs for boys with behaviour problems and had success with sailing schools and windsurfing schools which build their self-esteem and change their behaviour.
The name CHIPS arose from the situation that many schools in the city of Casey are starved for parental involvement. With both parents working to pay mortgages, etc., schools find it difficult to get parents to volunteer, so Eric has marshalled local Christian people, retirees and others to help schools with simple programs such as reading, library and administrative backup.
CHIPS also conducts “Life Gets Better” camps for children who have suffered trauma. The purpose of these camps is simply to give children who have suffered trauma some happy memories. Each child has an allocated adult “buddy” who supports the child in all activities. Buddies are trained and have the required Working With Children Checks for protection of the children. Children are from broken families, or where other trauma exist, like abusive situations, or families where siblings have committed suicide. CHIPS also conducts short day-away programs for children with disabilities.
CHIPS has been accused of secretly trying to convert children to Christianity, but their aim is not to evangelise, but to help children, regardless of their faith background; many children helped are of other faiths.
At our meeting, Eric will be focussing on talking to adults. We look forward to seeing you at Ellinbank on October 2nd. Supper will be provided.