Philadelphia Praise Prepares Future Leader through Summer Service

by Colin Ingram

Cindy_PPC Intern photoPhiladelphia Praise Center (PPC) is preparing the young Alexandra Cindy Angela for leadership through the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Summer Service Program. Alexandra Cindy Angela, who goes by Cindy, has been attending PPC for the last year and a half. She is currently studying communication and entrepreneurship at Temple University and is ministering through the summer service program for 10 weeks, from June 14 to August 21. Orientation for the program was in Goshen, IN during her first week.

According to the MCC website, the Summer Service Program aims to have young people of color serve through working at their church and in their community. Service workers are often involved in running a peace camp, an urban garden, or being a health educator.

“My responsibility is to assist the church to be a part of the community,” Cindy said.

Cindy’s responsibilities include church involvement in the community, working with PPC’s peace camp, video editing and graphic design. Part of her role includes translating and taking people to the hospital or to a lawyer. One event she helped with was a block party called “Passport Day.” Pastor of PPC, Aldo Siahaan is her director. In addition, she reports to a church elder and a deacon.

“The future of the church is the young generation, and we are trying to prepare her to be a future leader of the church,” Pastor Aldo said.

As one of her main service responsibilities, Cindy is the program director for peace camp. She manages the overall vision, planning and activities. She also determined this summer’s theme for the camp — “Painting Tomorrow” — and each week’s theme focus: family, friends, the present, and the future. Cindy is also in charge of the roster, communication with parents, distributing lunches, and organizing teachers and volunteers. Some things she has incorporated into the camp are career talks from various professionals, including a medical doctor, an accountant and a farmer, and visiting urban gardens.

Cindy stated, “This work is much more rewarding [than waitressing]. I think it makes me grow more as a person, and as a Christian.”

The peace camp is an outreach to the community that has been running at PPC for five years. Kids from the neighborhood ages seven to 14, divided into a younger and older group for activities and lessons,  attend the four-week program at PPC from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

“The kids really love [Cindy], our camp director; for example, she knew how to track with them to get them to do what they needed to do,” camp volunteer Hanggia Nadeak said.

Cindy hopes to work in a job in the field of communication when she finishes school at Temple and is open to the possibility of using her studies for the church in the future. In her free time, her passions include writing and music.