Dear EAPE Partners:
I recently traveled to Buffalo to do a fundraiser for Peace of the City, an inner-city ministry founded by former EAPE workers, Mark and Diane Cerbone. Now in its 18th year, Peace of the City reaches hundreds of elementary age children and teenagers, helping them to succeed through after-school tutoring, music and art opportunities, a theater group, and an extensive summer program.
Just before I spoke, a 14-year old girl shared her testimony. Kiera is struggling hard to escape the lifestyle of most girls her age on the west side of Buffalo. On her way home from school, this dedicated student was standing on a corner waiting for a bus when she was surrounded by a group of girls who resented her commitment to academic success. They grabbed her violin and smashed it to pieces. They also stole her wallet and her cell phone, and followed that by roughing her up. Undaunted, Kierra committed herself to go back to school with even more enthusiasm than ever before, and to succeed in spite of every obstacle.
After the event was over, when I asked about the consequences of that incident, Kiera told me her school expects students who for any reason fail to return their musical instruments at the end of the school year to pay for them. That violin is going to cost a couple hundred dollars, and I promised her that I would put up the money so that she could get another violin and continue her lessons. If you had been there, if you had seen this kid's grace and determination, my guess is that most of you would have done the same.
Sometimes even the best programs are not enough. Sometimes we have to respond to a personal need that might be the difference between hope and despair for an aspiring young person who wants to follow Jesus by preparing for a life of service.
Back at EAPE, I once again found the Red Letter Christians movement picking up steam day by day. For instance, we now have our own TV show, available nationwide on JCTV (an affiliate of TBN), which can also be accessed online. If you want to check it out, just go to www.redletterchristians.org and click the “RLC on TV” tab at the top of the page to get broadcast times or watch full-length episodes.
Each week my co-hosts and I profile and interview a different young mission worker who is part of the Red Letter Christians movement, aiming to inspire those watching to get off the couch and get involved as well, or at least pray and support those who do. Moreover, because both the production and the broadcasting of this show have been provided by TBN for free, we can keep supporting these heroic workers directly as well!
One of the young leaders we've highlighted on the new TV show is Gareth Higgins, a Red Letter Christian who cut his teeth in ministry with our Urban Promise affiliate in Camden, NJ. Now Gareth is heading up The Wild Goose Festival, a fresh, new summer arts and music event which will attract thousands of young people to camp outside of Durham, North Carolina from June 23-26, 2011. I will be there, along with lots of other Red Letter Christian leaders.
There’s more good news! During the first couple of weeks in April, while on a speaking tour of New Zealand, I met up with a pastor named Mike Duncan, who has organized a network of Red Letter Christians on the other side of the world as well!
This movement is all about caring for the poor, spreading the good news of salvation in Christ, and calling people into the lifestyle prescribed by Jesus. We need your prayers and gifts to keep the momentum going. We’re depending on you!
P.S. The sacrificial and generous giving of friends like you has sustained EAPE's ministries over the years and we are counting on your continued financial support and partnership in our ongoing commit-ment to inspire and enable followers of Jesus to live out God's love for the poor and oppressed! Please click here to make a one-time gift or schedule a monthly pledge of support. Your gift will make a difference!
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ABOUT TONY + MAY 2011