People bringing Hope in Detroit

I’ve been in Detroit quite a bit the last couple of weeks and I’ve witnessed something encouraging, “People bringing Hope.”  In some ways the city is making a comeback.  Small business are opening, restaurants and independent coffee shops staffed by energetic, idealistic and hard working young men and women serve the business owners and their customers.  The people you see downtown happened could be employed by someone other than city, county government or GM.  They have real hope for the city and its residents despite the city’s ongoing troubles.  It makes me happy to see their hopefulness and actions.

It makes me happier talking to these young entrepenuers and their employees to hear them speak with vision and affection for the city.  It’s also encouraging to see faith based volunteers in the city serving the homeless.

The plight of the homeless is as real as ever.  Bridges have mattresses and boxes stacked under them taking advantage of the shelter from rain and snow.  Vacant lots have sheets of plastic stretched over cast off mattresses and sofas.  Many of the homeless have drug and alcohol addictions or mentally ill they are often victimized.  Others are on the street because they have lost their jobs.  Homeless Action Network counted 2600 people in shelters and another 350 people on the streets of Detroit in January 2011, according to the Metro Solutions website.  These numbers do not take into account the homeless beyond the city center.

Woodland Church along with many other churches and organizations participate to bring food, clothing, faith, hope and love to the streets of Detroit.  One of the most beautiful pictures from Woodland is our Senior Citizens and young people serving side by side to serve others in the city.  They bring food, blankets, gloves, clothing, faith, friendship and hope to the homeless.

This week Pastor Rick Sutherland told me we had given away all of our food.  Will you help us replenish our own food bank at Woodland Church?  Or perhaps you can make a donation to our inner city outreach in Detroit, Bread of Life.  Canned food, dry foods like cereal, powdered milk, baby formula, beans are needed.  Cash donations for fuel and servicing our food preparation truck are appreciated as well.

The problem is huge, but every day small business owners, their employees who love being in the city and volunteers from various churches and other organizations step in to help a struggling city come back.

Please reflect on this verse this weekend.  “You come upon an old friend half starved and dressed in rags and say, Good Morning friend!  Be clothed in Christ!  Be filled with the Holy Spirit!  and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup – where does that get you?  Isn’t it obvious that God talk without God acts is outrageous nonsense? James 2:16-17, Message

Peace and Joy!

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