Last Sunday was a wonderful celebration. John and Teresa Scott and many others did a great job of preparation and planning. Many former members and ministers plus other guests attended, and our building was overflowing with people – more than I have ever seen. Plus, we had a special giving effort where almost $24,000 was given to be split among eight different ministries for our neighborhood.
After the festivities, a few of us wandered over to the garden. We sat around and chatted while our children played. While over there, I struck up a conversation with one of our neighbors, who I will call Philip. He lives in an apartment complex nearby and brought his son and a friend to play in the Southside Community Garden. As we started visiting, we found out that we have many common connections. First, his son goes to De Zavala Elementary and is a 4th grader, which means he has a mentor through Academy 4. Philip had a stroke awhile back and is on disability. From time to time, he has trouble making ends meet, so he has visited Opel with South Central Alliance here at our building. His previous marriage turned violent and he was a victim. So he went to One Safe Place to get assistance as he and his son had to leave the intense situation and strike out on their own. He told me that he also brings his son to our Tutoring Ministry to receive help and guidance at school. Philip also told me he was aware of our HOPE Ministry and the recovery group that we offer.
As we were talking and figuring out all of these connections, I realized what our giving was for this past Sunday - it was for neighbors like Philip. Many of our neighbors are in similar situations as he and his family are. The ministries that we offer and partner with bless their lives. Talking with Philip was a tangible reminder of the community touchpoints that we have through various neighborhood ministries. God uses these ministries to touch people’s hearts with mercy and to open doors to proclaim the gospel. Thank you for sharing your resources last week and giving for people like Philip. Through the money collected and the ministry done, our neighborhood will be blessed as God has blessed us!