Yesterday our church planting launch team hit the streets in South Philly to serve. It was cold, so we setup at two major bus and subway stops to pass out free Starbucks coffee, donuts, cookies and brownies. We also visited a hospital on Broad Street and served coffee and cookies to the nursing staff. We had a blast talking with people, praying with people, and demonstrating the practical love of Christ in our city.
My dream for CityLife Church is that we will be a compassionate community that lives to serve! There are many needs in the city. We want to be a solution and a life-giving presence.
This article that recently ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer hit me more than most. It describes the violence that is experienced in many of our city’s schools, and the challenge that creates for teachers who are trying to teach and students who are trying to learn.
In the 2009-2010 school year, there were 4,541 reported incidents of violence in Philadelphia schools. That means that in one average day, 25 students, teachers, or other staff members were beaten, robbed, sexually assaulted, or victims of other violent crimes. 9 out of every 10 public schools, from elementary schools on up, reported a serious assault last year. And bringing it home, two of the schools listed in the article are in my neighborhood.
I guess I can’t quite get away from this story because I can’t stop thinking about my own two little girls. My dreams for them as a father are the same as God’s desires for EVERY child in our city. Safety. Education. Future. Hope.
I’m convinced that CityLife Church needs to happen NOW. We have to see that number decrease. And we need to address the spiritual needs that are fundamental to the anger and frustration that’s coming from these kids and teenagers in our city.
I’m so happy God has called us to establish a house of hope in this great city. He is stronger than any obstacle and His love is the remedy to every need.