Adopt-a-block

What is adopt-a-block?

Adopt-a-block is a ministry that gives those desiring to reach out an opportunity to do so. The purpose is to make connections with the people of a focused area (a literal block). With consistency in reaching out, relationships will be established and the gospel will be received with open hearts.

Webster Block 1

Today, I walked around a few streets near the Dream Center of Lakeland with three others. We headed out from the Dream Center with bags of food and no specific destination except the parameter of our assigned block (5th St. to Webster St. to 10th St. to Lincoln St. and everything in between).

Along the way we saw several people about to head to a funeral for someone who was shot in the back of the head. It was a picture of the sorrow and pain that the community faces all too often. As we talked to a neighbor who told us what was going on, you could sense the reality of their suffering and pain. I cannot even begin to imagine the horror of knowing that someone stuck a gun to the back of my son’s head and pulled the trigger. While the presence of the Dream Center has helped to lower the crime rate in the area, there is still a need for people to see and experience the hope of Christ’s resurrection and His abundant, steadfast love for all humanity. This alone has opened my eyes to seeing how necessary it is to be interceding for the lives of those in this community.

Graphic designed by Travis Cooper. Click on the picture to check out more of his work on his tumblr.

As we continued to walk along, we met a few more people and familiarized ourselves with the streets. One encounter that stuck out to me was when we stopped and talked to a women named Laurie. We offered Laurie a bag of food and she gratefully accepted it. We talked with Laurie, for around half an hour and this encounter helped me see how ungrateful I can be at times. I complain a lot about Chartwell’s food, yet her 10 year old son stuck his head out with the biggest smile after tearing open the plastic bag to find applesauce. There is a great need and I pray that we are able to meet some of them and show/share the love of Christ in the midst of it.

How to get involved

Anyone can get involved by coming out to the Dream Center of Lakeland (on the Corner of 5th St. and Kettles St.) at 9am on any Saturday except the 4th one of the month.

Advertisements

Love and Trash

What do two used condoms, unwound rolls of VHS tape, and an endless amount of black and mild wrappers have in common? They were all items found on the streets of the blocks surrounding the Dream Center of Lakeland. To a white guy like me, who has lived in suburbia his whole life, these items are not the ordinary curbside┬ádebris. For the people in those neighborhoods, it’s just a part of the landscape; nevertheless, cleaning the streets doesn’t go unnoticed. As Pastor Mike put it, when the people in the area see a group of four or five white people they know they’re from the Dream Center. The Dream Center has sent people out time and time again to show that race, age, and financial well-being are all level at the ground of the cross. Serving others isn’t about pity; it’s about showing others that they are worth some of your time because they are deeply loved by God their creator.

Yesterday was a day for actions to speak. For me, it was a start to something good. For the Dream Center, it was the continuing of showing Christ’s love and bridging the gap from a person living life in whatever way they desire to a person living life in the way God desires. The service of a willing follower of Christ has the potential to produce discipleship in the life of a person they come in contact with. I pray that that is took place today when some 30 or so Southeastern Students and Dream Center volunteers went out in the mind of Christ to serve a few needs of the community.

Next Steps:

  • I will have to recruit, but more importantly pray for, a consistent team.
  • I will be more conversational with people that I encounter.