Our new year begins with hope and prayers. We know we have to do more because of conversations such as the one below, between a very sad child and a staff worker who serves with Peace of the City, our EAPE affiliate in Buffalo, N.Y.
“How was your day, Andre?” asked Michael, one of our young workers.
“Bad,” replied the fourteen-year-old boy.
“Why?” asked our mission worker.
“Because this is the only place with people who want me,” the boy answered.
Making children and teenagers feel wanted and loved is what all our EAPE urban staff workers endeavor to do. We want kids to know that no matter how they are made to feel at home or on the streets, God loves them.
Diann Takens-Cerbone, the Executive Director of Peace of the City (POTC), told another story that one of her staffers related to her.
The police officer firmly questioned POTC staffer Megan, “What are you doing at this house?”
“I’m picking up one of ‘our’ kids.”
The officer didn’t believe her. “You do not want to be here, not in front of this house.” Apparently “this house” was a busy drug dealing location; the officer assumed Megan was there for drugs.
Megan showed him some POTC literature and stated, “Actually officer, that is exactly why this IS the home for us to be at—there are children inside and I’m here to get them.”
Surprised, his head snapped back. He paused, and then stated simply, “You’re right Ma’am—you’re doing good work.”
If you knew how many kids are being touched by Peace of the City with its extremely limited resources, you’d want EAPE to pour more help into this ministry – and we will do it if you’ll help us. So please do!
There is an array of reports that I receive each week that tells of the many ways that EAPE ministries, like POTC, are changing lives in places far and near. From South Africa, Wendy Ryan, who heads up Evangeline Ministries, another of our affiliated ministries, explains how her program has given hope for a better life to scores of women, in addition to introducing them to the good news about Jesus. Wendy tells about a woman, named Pluna, who lives in Masiphomelele, a slum area on the outskirts of Cape Town. This area was intended for 3,000 people, but now has more than 35,000 people squeezed into it.
Pluna was not only incredibly poor, she was also the victim of physical abuse. We can happily report that she will graduate from Wendy’s computer and sewing classes in July. Already she is making clothes that are being sold in the city market and earning enough money, not only for food and housing, but also to pay for her children to go to school. Pluna is constantly thanking God for how this EAPE affiliate has given her hope for the future and a better life for her family.
I can’t think of a better way to bless needy people than to support programs like Peace of the City or Evangeline Ministries – so please give as much as you can!