Attending Character Kids at Hilton Progress Hall every Sunday afternoon is probably the closest the deprived children of Hilton get to a complete makeover.
The neighbourhood kids, mostly Aboriginals, are being taught about God every Sunday in Hilton Progress Hall by a faithful team from Evangel Christian Fellowship based in Murdoch.
This Sunday class evolved from “Ark in the Park,” a children’s Bible program which still runs every alternate Thursday in the small park between Joslin Street and Griffiths Place.
“I felt that having fortnightly Bible lessons were inadequate, so I began an evening service on Monday night which was later changed to the Sunday afternoon “Character Kids at Hilton,” said Mrs Curran, the founder of “Ark in the Park” and “Character Kids at Hilton”
Ms Simrath Bhullar oversees Character Kids at Hilton.
“At 2:45pm, we set up while the bus and the van goes out for pickup, and as the kids come in, we play pre-games up to 3:20pm, when we officially start,” said Ms Bhullar.
After games, they sing songs, learn about God—through a skit or activity—and then split up into small craft groups.
The craft, usually something simple to make but pretty, is split into segments to last for the whole month.
After craft, the kids are seated on the carpets again, and are given pizzas and cordial to snack on before the bus and van drops them back home again.
When asked what he liked about Character Kids, nine-year-old Jesse Maselli said, “Soccer, games and eating.”
“My favourite is the art, ‘cos we get to do cool things,” said Kirsty Pellington, a 10-year-old attendee.
But not only do the kids have fun, more importantly, they learn something that will help them through life—good character.
“It was hard going at first, but now they’ve changed because there is a consistency in their lives. Character Kids has become a consistent happening in their lives, and they need that,” said Ms Bhullar.
“They actually sit down and listen and have become polite and responsible—they also demonstrate gratefulness and respect for authority.”
“Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the three things man seek—once these kids find Jesus, He will change their whole outlook on life,” Ms Bhullar said.
The Hilton kids are getting a makeover—not the fashion makeovers you see on TV, but a character makeover that will affect their lives for the better.