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Arizona Neighborhood Transformation is about seeing people in communities around Arizona transform themselves out of poverty and closer to the love of God. Our focus is on Guadalupe Arizona with our friends there. However, we also are open to coaching, training and helping any community in Arizona that wants to do the same thing.
Our Strategy for doing this is pretty simple. We use Neighborhood Transformation and Asset Based Community Development as our foundation.
* We emulate Jesus – walking with “the least of these” (as the world defines people), making friends, finding out the peoples hopes, dreams and desires. We them help them find the assets God has given them, in that place, that they can use these assets to make their desires happen
* We walk, teach, coach, connect, learn and grow with the community. Transformation is not something “you do to someone else”. Transformation is something that happens to everyone that opens themselves up to what God has planned for them. We all transform.
* The world is broken and the communities we work in appear to the worlds eye more broken than most. So we also connect the people in the community with others that share their dreams and desires and working together with our assets, we fill in the holes to help the reconcillation God is doing today in the world.
* We persevere. This is long term development. Long term is measures in tens of years. Generations if we are really honest. We stay in the challenges with our friends and as time passes, we learn, grow and get stronger. We start small in our effort and let God grow it over time. We help the community learn about itself, its assets, its dreams. Then we help them put these assets into practice on small challenges. Over time as people grow in depth and number, the challenges grow. The community grows. The reconciliation grows.
* While we are Christian, we work with anyone that has the best interest of the community at heart. We do not push an agenda or a religion. We simple show what God has put in our hearts. We seek the common good of the community – that is our agenda.
Our Tactics for doing this are also pretty simple.
* We enter the neighborhood to seek to understand what God is doing there. We meet people and we develop relationship. We LISTEN!
* If we live in the neighborhood, we become a “person of peace”; an anchor to start the genesis of development. IF not, we seek our “people of peace” we can work with.
* We get known in the neighborhood through parties, picnics, clean-ups ,etc to bless the neighborhood and let them know we care.
* We use Asset Based Community Development as our main tool set. We do asset surveys to determine dreams and assets
* We start with small projects that come off these asset surveys, matching people os similiar dreams and desires
* We let the community start to work on seeing these projects through to fruition
* We continue – growing the movement. As the small projects succeed, more people will want to be a part. People that were involved in the small projects will want to do more. The projects will grow and the list of community assets will grow. We help the community organize itself to manage, direct and grow these projects. These are the communities efforts, not ours. They need to own them, run them, grow them
* We stay in the mix. Thought the good times and bad. These are our friends and that is what friends do.
Neighborhood Transformation: www.neighborhoodtransformation.net
This contains wonderful “nuts and bolts” on how to do this work in your neighborhood
Communities First Association: http://communitiesfirstassociation.org
This is a group of people doing Chirstian Community Development around the country and has great insight into Asset Based Community Development as we use it.
Contact us if you are interested in learning more – how can you do this in your neighborhood or in a neighborhood God has placed on your heart.