Spring, and God, showed in Guadalupe, Arizona. Again. I like to write about Guadalupe because I like Guadalupe. I do ABCD coaching work in a number of places around Phoenix Arizona but Guadalupe is where I feel the most at home. I have worked with my friends in Guadalupe for many years and it is always a real joy to see God there.
This time God showed up at our first big community painting in Guadalupe. We joined forces with another community we work with in South Phoenix, Barrio Nuevo. The leader there, David Bennett, has house painting down to a science, having done about 60 houses in the last five years. He brought over some of his friends from south Phoenix and some of his friends from outside the community. Out little community of folks from Guadalupe doing basketball and tutoring joined them, along with some of our friends from outside the Guadalupe community. Altogether, we have about 80 people, with about 30-35 of them from Guadalupe.
We painted two houses – Francis’s house and Linda’s house. It only took the morning, starting at 8:30 and finishing about 11:30. And in that three hours wonderful things happened. People met people and worked with them to make the community a little better. People smiled. People got to know a little bit more about each other. People shared work, paint, food, water and fun. Relationships grew. God was there.
This was another great step, on a number of levels. We were able to do a joint activity between a couple of our neighborhoods and the people who live and relate in them. It was the first time we reached out into the Guadalupe community to do some painting as chosen by the community and with the support of the community. And we combined many different people, from many different places to do the painting. It was fantastic.
In May, we are planning another such event. This time, we will paint in South Phoenix, Guadalupe and Central Phoenix. We will add in another community and another 100 people. And we will see what God does.
I wanted to share three great opportunities to get involved in two of the communities were we are doing Neighborhood Transformation. If you (or any friends) are interested, please let me know. Please feel free to share
1) We are going to join with some of our neighbors in Guadalupe to do some house painting on APRIL 13 8 am to 11 am Saturday morning. We are meeting at the Mercado in Guadalupe, in the parking lot on the south side. The Mercado is on the SE corner of Avenida del Yaqui and Guadalupe Rd.
2) We are going to join with some of our neighbors in South Phoenix to do some house painting on MAY 11th morning (time and place TBD).
3) The Los Ninos program in Guadalupe, a program that meets with about 25-30 children in Guadalupe once / month to do breakfast, field trips, education and mentoring, is in need of volunteers. They currently meet on the third Saturday of each month from about 8 am to noon. It is a great way to take a step with some of the families in Guadalupe and learn a bit about what is happening there.
Thank you very much. Please let me know and share with your friends
We had a great banquet Feb 1 at North Phoenix Baptist Church. Thanks to all the old friends that came to check out what happened in 2012 and the new friends that wanted to see were we are going in 2013.
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Check out the video from the banquet:
Yeast. That is how Jesus describes His expectations of what the church; His people on earth are to be. It is a wonderful description, that has become less meaningful to people as time and technology progressed in two millennia. In Jesus’s time, everyone knew what yeast did. You did not have bread without yeast and if you did not use yeast to make your bread to eat, you starved. It was pretty easy for everyone at Jesus time to make the connection that the yeast in the bread was instrumental to ongoing maintenance of life. From this they could connect His people were to be critical in the creation of life giving community here on earth.
Today, few people are aware of what yeast really does. Including me. However, I got a big helping of what Jesus meant when he referred to us being yeast when I talked with my friend Pat. Pat lives in South Phoenix; a very under-served area in Phoenix. Ask people for the “worse” part of Phoenix and 80% of the time you will hear “South Phoenix”. That is where the gangs are, the drive by shootings, the drugs. That is where the highest percentage of prisoners that have completed their time is released. That is where all the relief groups have an office.
A couple of us videoed her to understand and share what she was doing in her community. Pat was initially wary; she did not think what she was doing was worth video. She moved into the neighborhood deliberately to be near relatives. A couple years ago she learned about Asset Based Community Development/ Wholistic Ministry and got excited about it. Her neighborhood association was practically defunct; Block Watches were not happening, meetings were not being held, people were not being listened to and organized to help address concerns. So she started meeting with people in her house. Unemployed, she opened here house and hosted people as best she could so she could listen and people could talk. Before long, these meetings were happening regularly. Issued moved into projects to address them fueled by the people in the community. Officers were elected, policies created. They elected Pat president.
People in her little community now feel safer to let the kids play outside. And I think that is a fantastic measure of what community transformation looks like – people let their kids play in safety in the community. They are working now on expanding and deepening the involvement in the community.
Pat may still thinks she is not worthy of a video. I would disagree because I saw in her a real life example of what Jesus meant about being yeast. I rejoice in what God is doing in South Phoenix and I consider it an eternal blessing to be able to walk with people like Pat. Perhaps God will let some of the yeast rub off on me if I do it enough.
Thanks to Annalise for sending this article. This is very good – showing the real assets in a community and what can happen when they become motivated.
All – AZNT is having their Annual Banquet Friday, February 1, 2013 at North Phoenix Baptist Church (Central Ave and Bethany Home Rd), 6:30 – 8:30 pm. We are pleased to have Dr Gary Kinnaman to give our keynote talk. We will be discussing what God is up to in our neighborhoods, how people have been transformed and what our plans are for 2013. We would love to have you come and walk closer with us to help see this transformation deepen in our communities.
If you are interested, please contact Jeff Bisgrove (email@example.com) 602 653 9996 God Bless
Welcome. Our desire is to walk with our friends in under served neighborhoods around Arizona, listening to their stories and dreams, developing strong relationship and helping people discover and unleash their assets to make their dreams a reality. We are dedicated to wholistic ministry, working with the entire person – physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual. Just as Jesus did 2000 years ago and beckons His followers to imitate today. We want to see this Asset Based Community Development approach move across this land and see people and communities transformed. We hope you find something here to bless you. If you are interested in more, please contact us.