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RED HOOK – The small Brooklyn area named after its red clay soil and known for its brownstone architecture took on a different face in late October 2012.
The home of 11,000 people was flooded with more than 10 feet of water when Hurricane Sandy struck the northeast.
The flood destroyed basement and first-floor living areas and businesses in an area made of people who work in the service, construction and transportation area. The average annual income there is just over $24,000, according to RebuildingTogether.org.
Rev. Donald Grey, pastor of River of God Christian Center, said his church basement was flooded with several feet of water. Before the flooding, that very basement was the place the congregation assembled to feed people in need each week.
Grey and his congregation encountered immense devastation in the wake of the storm with the damage to the church and their homes, but they never gave up.
With hearts of faith, the church body vowed to reopen the program as soon as possible. After a time of prayer, the waters subsided and folks made contributions to help start the work.
Hundreds of families were fed for weeks following the storm because of the faith of the congregation.
Grey’s heart for his community is what makes the Inner City Ministry with Cru unique. The ministry gets to share partnerships with men and women who have long-term commitments to their neighborhoods.
Consistency is often missing in the inner city. There is not a lot to hold on to and life can feel insecure.
People like Grey and his congregation break the mold of constant change. Their steady, caring presence mirrors aspects of God’s heart for people.
Deuteronomy 31:8 says it best,
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Lift Jesus up through new shoes for the children of America’s inner cities.
I tend to avoid things that are awkward or uncomfortable, and there are some challenging topics for the Church in America today. Then I went to Creating Options Together.
What is poverty? A lack of money? A lack of education? Housing? Hope? Yes, poverty is all that and more. At its root poverty is a lack of options. And nowhere in America do people have fewer options than in our inner cities.
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