ORLANDO, Fla. – A Central Florida church is making it possible for a local elementary school to renovate its media center.
Journey Church Orlando surprised English Estates Elementary School’s principal with a check for $30,000.
Lead pastor JJ Vasquez said they originally promised $5,000 but their generous congregation made $30,000 a reality.
“People want to make a difference, but they just need the opportunity. To say, ‘Hey, we do this for our community, we can do this for our school. Would you be in?’ I don’t think that part was hard at all. People just want an opportunity to do something positive in the crazy world we live in today,” Vasquez said.
Principal Nancy Urban was at the church service to receive the check. She said the school’s media center hasn’t had a major upgrade since the 1980s and with budget cuts, other projects have taken priority.
Now the school will be able to repaint, redecorate and upgrade technology, like computers.
Urban attended English Estates as a child and said her dream was always to return in a professional capacity.
“I do feel English Estates is my home. And it’s one of those things I wanted to be a teacher there and it never worked out, and I say sometimes God has a different path for you and my path was to come back and be the principal,” she said.
Vasquez said his church’s mission is to make Jesus accessible to everyone and improve the lives of not just people who attend the church, but people who live in the community.
“Before you try and change the world, change your backyard. I think that’s what really drew us to English Estates. It’s our backyard,” he said. “If you never hear me preach, maybe you’ll turn on the news and hear what we did in Jesus’s name and that will make this whole idea of religion accessible to you.”