Luke 4:18, 19 has served as the energy that drives the Bronx-Westchester Education Committee (B.W.E.C.), because it reveals the passion of God’s heart, demonstrated throughout the Bible. After months of praying, planning, and working, their vision for establishing the Touch of Love and Compassion Ministry (TLC) was realized. Their mission is to be a conduit of love and compassion to the disadvantaged people of any race, creed, political or religious affiliation, with acts of kindness and love.
On June 30, a group of educators, pastors, church members, and conference directors met at the Oakview Preparatory school in Yonkers, New York, for the dedication of the newly-acquired TLC mobile unit, a mobile unit for touching lives in the community in a more personal way. The dedication service was chaired by Wayne Jamel, Morris Park church pastor and one of the founding members; and Dorrette Anderson, a cornerstone of the project from its inception. She gave a historical perspective and set the tone for the occasion.
This effort began on September 5, 1989, when five women in education from various churches in the Bronx-Westchester area, came together to find a way to make an impact on their community through Adventist education. These five educators with their faith in God, prayer, and dedication for the project, began sharing their dream with their immediate Greater New York Conference churches, namely Co-Op City, Emmanuel, Grand Concourse, Mamaroneck, North Bronx, Pelham Parkway (now Morris Park), Philadelphia, Tabernacle of Joy, Victory, and Yonkers. This resulted in the establishment of Oakview Preparatory school.
Today the school is the largest elementary school in the Atlantic Union Conference, with an average student population of 240 and a faculty and staff of close to 25. The school is fully accredited by New York State as a full-time, Pre-K to Grade 8 school.
Seeing what God had accomplished through their prayer and faithfulness, B.W.E.C. undertook its second project, that of establishing the TLC mobile ministry (www.tlcmin.org), a private, not-for-profit, 501(c) (3) mobile, interactive, community outreach program that offers health, education, and humanitarian services to New York City, Westchester, and beyond.
The ministry is sponsored and funded by members and friends of the B.W.E.C., with additional support from the Greater New York Conference Adventist Community Services Department.
Students are invited to work alongside this mobile ministry, exemplifying the highest ideals of Seventh-day Adventist education, and, through this process, gain valuable insight into collaborating with the community in outreach. The goal is also to collaborate with pastors and churches in working with community entities, such as the mayor’s office, police department, as well as parks and public facilities, in spreading the good news.
Barrington Anderson, communication leader, Victory church