It was only our first day spending time in the neighborhood.
…and we met a new friend named, M. Barely into her 20's, M is a single mom trying hard to love and care for her kids. The father of her child is in jail for planning a murder that a gang in the neighborhood carried out. As we listened to her story, we were amazed that God was giving us an opportunity to peer into the neighborhood through her eyes. She told us of many kids and families she knows who are hungry, families who don't have running water because their parents can't pay the bills, and neighbors of hers who don't have winter coats. "There are lots of needs in this neighborhood" she said.
She told us that the challenging parts of the neighborhood are drugs, alcohol, child neglect & abuse, prostitution, and teen pregnancy. But she didn't say, "hopelessness." Contrary, she said that there were many people…good people…who love this neighborhood and are seeing it's renewal. M is one of them.
As M spoke….we felt our hearts enlarging.
Our hearts are actually small…but when you let people in, they make your heart bigger.
She said, "We've tried going to church before...but the churches we visited are far away and it's a lot of gas to get there." We are wondering if it was for people like M and her friends that Jesus sent us here.
Our hearts are growing for this place.
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