Dear Friends of EAPE,
It is not easy for me to communicate the painful realties that children in our urban programs have to face day in and day out.
Just a few weeks ago in Southwest Philadelphia, one of the graduates of our Cornerstone Christian Academy (CCA) was shot to death as he was walking home with some friends. That same week the mother of one of CCA's fourth graders was brutally murdered by her boyfriend, right in front of their home. Sometimes the violence of the inner-city feels overwhelming to our valiant teachers and youth workers.
And yet, over and against such tragedies, some of our CCA students have emerged as models of success and beacons of hope to those coming behind them. For example, last year CCA alum Tracy Lawrence graduated from high school with a 3.89 grade point average and scholarship offers from the University of Michigan and the University of Texas. Instead, Tracy chose to attend the prestigious Carnegie-Melon University in Pittsburgh, which is covering 92% of her total costs because of her high academic standing. Moreover, in addition to receiving a great academic foundation at Cornerstone Christian Academy, Tracy also learned to follow Jesus and committed to making her life count by serving others in His name.
Then there is Seth Caldwell, who started his relationship with EAPE in our Mission Year program and during that time interned as an after-school tutor at CCA. After his Mission year, Seth went on to earn a Master’s Degree in a special graduate program for urban ministry that EAPE helped establish at Eastern University. For the past two years Seth has been back at CCA, serving as our computer science instructor. As he put it, “I returned to Cornerstone…because I believed in their mission and I wanted to work in the neighborhood I both love and live in, to further God’s kingdom here and now.”
In "The Message", Eugene Peterson translated John 1:24 to read, “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” Like thousands of EAPE alums before him, Seth is imitating Jesus by living out the Gospel in a difficult and dangerous place, so that kids like Tracy Lawrence have a chance to reach their full, God-given potential. These are our bothers and sisters in Christ, and they deserve our prayers and our support. Please, for their sake, help us "keep on keeping on" for the Kingdom.
P.S. Cornerstone Christianity Academy needs our financial support now more than ever. Please help us give the students, faculty and staff the resources they need by making an online gift today at eape.org and designating your gift for Cornerstone Christian Academy. You gift will really make a difference!
P.S.S. While our brothers and sisters in Haiti still struggle to recover from the devastating January, 2010 earthquake, they now face additional challenges with the recent cholera outbreak and flooding caused by Hurricane Tomas. Your continued support is needed! Gifts designated for our Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund will be used for the ongoing relief effort in Haiti.
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ABOUT TONY + NOVEMBER 2010