Monday, April 2, 2012
Dear HUM Friends, April 2, 2012
Life in the city continues; when you are asking God for Big things, you better be prepared for BIG things. Went to Atlanta to See/hear Bob Lupton: Author of “Toxic Charity” read this.
Just when you think you are “doing it right”, you might(will) find out there are better ways to love those in poverty…in a more healthy empowering way. The FreeMarket has always giving me joy and angst at the same time, we must look for new ways to “offer” clothing in a healthier manner i.e…Thrift store with affordable prices. When we give away everything to “The Poor” we may be taking away their dignity, and enabling an already “toxic” system. When we rent to a neighborhood, instead of offering affordable “buying” opportunities, you may be lowering the development of a historically black community that wants to sustain their heritage. When we “rich” go in and buy up a predominantly black neighbor hoods and fill the homes with “All white neighbors” this drives up the cost of the neighbors homes and blacks who want to stay/buy in their neighborhood, have no buying power, again we drive out the poor neighbors’..to where? Where do they go..Public housing, where we coral our friends and give them no opportunities to get out of Poverty.
This is just what I am hearing through “Professionals” who have “done this”-Urban development a lot longer than me. This is just my thoughts and concerns. I (HUM) want to make a difference, not add to an already growing dilemma.
So..What to do? Well the first step in changing anything, is to educate yourself and others, that’s what the Number #1 step is. When our kids are struggling in school, we tell them..Study…Study Harder. When we want children in poverty to improve in school, we tutor them, we educate them…we strive to give them opportunities to get out through education. It is no different for me...Educate myself on healthy opportunities at the root issues of poverty.
I tell my VCU students often: Understand “Why” first, and then make sound decisions on “How you can help.” Doing what we already know, without change is “insanity”…looking for different results?
So this change I know..will take time, but I need to make a conscious decision what is not working needs to stop. We need a thrift store in Highland Park, we need investors to buy homes for the poor and let them buy them back from YOU! We need to get involved in food co ops…education of God’s people on How can we “do this” in a healthier manner.
I do know, there are people who want to LIVE The Bible…..There are people whose hearts are genuine, and there are people who just want to donate a coat and move on. As Christians, we CAN make a difference, walking the Gospel, loving others without hurting them. We wouldn’t give our kids an xbox, new car, ipod, new clothes, every time they asked…I wouldn’t. We apply the same principles to our friends.
Bob Lupton Quotes: (who is Bob? 40 years of Christian Community Developer in Atlanta.)
” Never do for the poor what they have or could have the capacity to do for themselves.”
“Limit one way giving to emergency situations.”
“Strive to empower the poor through employment, lending and investing…using grants sparingly to reinforce achievements.”……
There is so much more. Educate yourself; let’s make a difference in this lifetime for God…for the Sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf…Now is the time.
Think this over during Holy Week, Remind yourself Why Jesus died…I feel pretty certain it wasn’t for us to have a pure and selfish lifetime, to gather as much as we can for us….how much is enough?
What can you do this week or to get started?
Come to freemarket this sat. April 7 8-11, prescreening for jobs, Relationship building! 3121 Moss Side Ave 23222
HUM transitional House Rehab. 2411 4th Ave: 8-2pm Skilled Laborers NEEDED…We have employed city guys up to this week..Now we need drywall hangers, mudders, ceramic tile folks, tongue and grove wood replacement, plumbers to put in a tub and vanities….No children under 16 this week.
Tutoring Wed nights 5:15-7:15 Dinner and Education 3121 Moss Side Ave collaborating with Northminster Church! All are welcome, as long as your kids know…it is a “Tutoring Night.”
Spring break “Fruit of the Spirit”- April 10, 11, 12: 10a-2pm, opportunity for City children who have nothing to do, no fancy vacations…Spring Fun and and loving children. 3121 Moss Side Ave. 23222
Every Wed. 9-12, come to FreeMarket and relate..Hang out, knit, sort clothes, offer your gifts. 3121 Moss Side Ave. 23222
Better Idea? Want to buy a home…let’s meet. Email: email@example.com
Thanks so much, for your constant prayers, for giving what you can and asking when you don’t know….We are open to your heart and what god has called YOU to.
Blessings this Holy Week,