Little Lights Urban Ministries

2007 Spring Newsletter

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Little Lights Times To fully accept the accedptance of God and to spread love to those perishing without it. Volume 7, Issue 1 In this Issue • • • • • • • • • Letter from Steve Friday Night Flava Supporter Updates Literacy Through Photography Board of Directors Spring 2007 Events Mentoring Program Teen Intern Bio 2006 Christmas Party Mark Your Calendars April 28 Volunteer Appreciation Lunch May 22: Last Day of AfterSchool Programs June 11-22: Camp Heaven Training June 25-Aug 10: Camp Heaven October 1: After-School Programs Begin Letter from Steve In March, I attended the funeral of a 16-year old nicknamed, Ron-Ron. I drove one of our ministry vans to the funeral and had to make four trips from Potomac Gardens to the church, because so many people, especially children and youth, wanted to attend. Ron-Ron was known by almost everyone in the neighborhood. graduating from high school at all. At Eastern High School, the public school many Potomac Gardens students attend, the graduation for boys is probably about 10%. With the cost of living in the DC area, it can be difficult to survive financially even with an undergraduate degree. Without a high school diploma, it is practically a lifelong sentence to poverty. It is poverty, the lack of access (or perceived access) to opportunity and in many cases a lack of hope which leads so many to jail, economic hardship, and teenage pregnancy. Ron-Ron was shot in the head, probably because he stole someone's car. All the details are not clear. He was always one who you knew would likely get into trouble. He usually had a welcoming smile for you, but decided early to hang out with the wrong crowd. He never stuck to any of our programs. He is now another casualty of "the street" where despair and hopelessness seem to grow denser with each passing day. It is easier to simply not care. They are mere statistics and, for many of us, statistics of complete strangers. Why should I care? They are not my kids. Only 9 out of 100 students in the DC Public School system are graduating from college, and approximately 60% of students are not For those of who profess Christ, however, the Bible does not let us off the hook that easily. To God, these are not mere statistics. Many of Spring 2007 them are His sheep, dearly loved, and He desires His people to seek out after them and find them and love them. God wants His people to show His love with "actions and truth" not merely "words and tongue." It would be difficult to count how many professing Christians live in the metro Washington, DC area and I know there is at minimum 10,000 churches. Yet, so few feel "called" by God to love these youth who are looking for relationship, care, and guidance. The Body of Christ has not provided a viable alternative to the "street" for hope for urban youth. Our vision for ministry often ends at having large numbers on Sunday and well-run Bible studies. It is tragic to see the potential and resources of the Church sadly lost to a vision too small to include the urban youth who need direction, love, and guidance. For large numbers of youth, any hope of the future dies in high school in the midst of violence, disorder, and a culture of continued on next page...

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