Pastor Adriano Petraccaro’s association with Teen Challenge SA was an unexpected phenomenon. After pastoring a small country church for 14 years in the lower south east of South Australia, he decided to relocate to Strathalbyn with his wife. They took on Strathalbyn Family Church, not knowing that Teen Challenge SA was also moving into the area around the same time.
Through some encouragement from a fellow pastor, Adriano became a volunteer for the program. ‘As with any church organisation, whether big or small, the two challenges that confront everyone are finding volunteers and raising funds. Teen Challenge SA is no exception’, he said.
So when the opportunity came to have Emily Korir speak at Strathalbyn Family Church, he saw this as an opportunity to do something not just for his church but also for Teen Challenge SA.
‘We decided to put on a dinner, firstly, to help promote Emily’s book, but secondly, to raise awareness and funds for Teen Challenge SA, with the added benefit that we could also raise awareness of our church in our local community’, said Adriano.
‘Being a local church connected to Teen Challenge SA has given our congregation a sense of purpose in offering support and care to the students and the program’, said Adriano. ‘[It] has helped our people look beyond themselves, giving them the opportunity to see God move powerfully in the students’ lives.’
The fundraising dinner took place on Saturday 12 November and featured a three-course meal and silent auction. Unfortunately, guest speaker Emily Korir could not attend due to illness, so Mark Aiston, former Channel 10 sports media personality, stepped in and did an amazing job at such short notice. He also interviewed Jesse (whose story features on page three of this newsletter), which was a highlight.
‘The Christian rap performance was brilliant, and the men’s testimonies were really touching’, said one of the attendees. ‘It’s fantastic to showcase and celebrate the phenomenal work that God is doing in these men’s lives through Teen Challenge SA and Strathalbyn Family Church.’
‘I would encourage every church to consider getting involved with Teen Challenge SA through continued financial support or by encouraging their people to become volunteers. You and your church will not be disappointed’, said Adriano.
Could your church consider fundraising for Teen Challenge SA too?