Here are a couple of highlights from our last few weeks. We’ve been working with our friends at the Family Abuse Center to help solidify the plans for an expansion into the space adjoining their current thrift store. Second Chance is going to double in size and that will be a big help to the Family Abuse Center.
Earlier this month Mannaworks took a brief time out to sharpen our tools by attending a developmental conference for leaders of urban non-profits. You can read more about it in The Mind of Roy
“Second Chance” to Double in size!
Many of the organizations we have helped have put a lot of work into helping kids have a better childhood. It’s easy to warm up to the idea of improving a playground or repainting an activity room.
It may be harder to think about, but it’s even more important to keep children safe from violence in their own home. Sometimes kids and their mothers have to find safe shelter immediately. That’s where the Family Abuse Center gets involved.
If a mother and her kids need a safe place to start a new live, the Family Abuse Center is available to take them in. Sadly, many nights all the beds are full, with extra mattresses placed on the floor. Domestic violence is epidemic in our community, and the children in violent home suffer the consequences.
One of the tools used by Family Abuse Center to stretch and multiply their limited resources is the thrift store Second Chance. Gently used clothing, household items, small furniture, books and accessories are accepted and resold. Second Chance provides needed clothing for the kids and moms who have fled and unsafe environment with little more than the clothes on their back. It also provides some operating capital by selling remaining donated items to the public. But Second Chances has reached the point where it needs more room to handle the demand created by the increasing number of clients at the Family Abuse Center.
Kathy Reid, the Executive Director at the Family Abuse Center contacted us to help expand the Second Chance facility so more families can have access to the clothes that they need. When the project is completed this fall Second Chance will have doubled the space at its existing location to offer not only clothing but also some simple furniture and others items needed by the kids and their moms as they restart their lives.
If you have gently used clothes or other household items, especially school uniforms consider donating them to Second Chance at 1412 Sunset Street here in Waco. If you enjoy a bargain, shop at Second Chance – their new space may hold the treasure you have been trying to find. Family Abuse Center is a 501(c)3 organization and a receipt for your donations will be provided. If you need additional information, please call the store at 753-6469.
From the Mind of Roy:
Mannaworks recently had the pleasure of going to the annual Christian Community Development Association conference in Chicago. The CCDA is made up of Christian Non-profits like ours from all over the country. Their objective is to help the urban poor in the inner city. It was an honor for mannaworks to be included in this group of roughly 4000 people whose goal is to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the marginalized and beaten down in their communities.
While we were there, we visited one of Chicago’s poorest areas: Lawndale. This neighborhood had been hit hard by the Martin Luther King riots in the late 1960s and it never recovered, but became a haven for drugs and violence. Not many years later, Wayne Gordon began teaching and coaching at Farragut High School on Chicago’s west side. Coach Gordon and his wife Anne were people who believed Jesus really meant what He said. As a result, they relocated to Lawndale. There were not too many white couples willing to move into Lawndale at that time, but the Gordons felt called to. They started hosting a Bible study in their apartment for kids from the nearby school.
Now, 30 years later, Coach Gordon is the pastor of Lawndale Community Church, an African American church that is changing his community. They have built the Lawndale Christian Health Center that serves over 100,000 patient visits a year. They have built the Lawndale Christian Development Center that facilitates economic development, education and housing. They have built houses and apartment complexes so people in the community will have affordable places to live. They have built drug rehab facilities, job training programs, and an early childhood development center. All of these ministries are providing jobs for the people of Lawndale, and they have been created because the Gordons read the Bible and are actually doing what it says.
Waco has its own example of this in Jimmy and Janet Dorrell, the founders of Mission Waco. They were also called to the inner city and have been working to bring change to our community for nearly 20 years.
As Christians, we are not all called to the inner city, but we are all called to believe and live like Jesus really meant what He said. He actually expects us to live like He did. James 4:17 says if we know what we are supposed to do and don’t do it, it is a sin. In other words, if we have knowledge of the Bible but don’t apply it then we don’t have any knowledge at all. If we really take seriously and also believe that the two greatest commandments are to love God with all our heart and love others, there is no telling what we can do by putting that knowledge into everyday practice.
My prayer for all of us is that when we read the gospel that it does not prompt us to mere reflection of it but that it causes us to respond. Everyone who swears allegiance to Christ bears responsibility for humanity and the duty to really make earth as it is in Heaven.