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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, where 35 percent of the population find themselves in poverty’s shadow.
Meet Amber. She’s a single mom working two jobs to make ends meet. She just lost one job and is being evicted from her apartment. She needs groceries, but she has student loans to pay. And she has to get her daughter settled into a new school, again.
Organizations send Amber donations, hand me downs and meals. And those things help for a little while. But food runs out, clothes are outgrown, and next month, next week, tomorrow, Amber will be right back where she began.
Amber feels alone, and her world is looking darker every day. She wonders if the dawn will ever come.
But down the road from Amber is a church that has partnered with Cru Inner City. Together the church and Cru use a simple strategy called the Circle of Hope to create life-changing options for families like Amber’s.
While the church uses resources from Cru to connect with folks in their neighborhood, Cru empowers the church with training to develop families and individuals for long-term change.
Each piece of this strategy is driven by the heartbeat of hope: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
One day the church reaches out to Amber with a Thanksgiving meal delivered to her door.
Because of their partnership with Cru, when Amber visits, the church is able to offer her training on becoming employable, and even give her daughter a safe place to do her homework and receive Christ-centered mentoring.
Out of the darkness comes options.
But Amber’s circumstances aren’t just changing; Amber is changing. God has sparked something in her heart she wants to share with others: hope.
Poverty is a deep shadow, but when Jesus walked out of His tomb 2,000 years ago, the sun of hope began to rise.
Cru is linking arms with the church to share the transforming light of God’s love. One city, one community, one family, one option at a time.
When we create options, we work innovatively to turn ideas into practical resources for families and individuals in need. Many of the devastating effects of poverty stem from a lack of options. By working together with friends and partners in ministry, we find fresh ways to apply the hope of the gospel to the many issues poverty leaves in its wake. The resources we offer are intimately tied to finding new life in Jesus Christ and bring compassion and valuable life training ... to the ultimate fulfillment of the Great Commission.
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.
Social media responses to an historic inner city conference.
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