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2018 ANNUAL REPORT

Another Year for the Books.

 
 

Measurables help us make sure that we remain faithful to the hopes and dreams expressed by the community and the resources that have been entrusted through us to see those come to expression. We know that there’s never a way to fully measure what happens when youth teams sit with Godly widows and listen to history from the mouth of one who lived it. Or, share a meal and listen to one another and build a friendship. There’s no way to fully capture the worth of those moments, but those are the stories we most love to tell.

 
 

We’re seeing neighbors love one another as themselves & we think it’s shaking things up and changing history.

 
 

Last year, we had a neighbor with a roof that had leaked for more than 10 years. A long history of discriminatory housing and home loan practices along with imminent domain and unjust practices for renewal in the city meant a scared senior home owner. Like many, she needed repairs but her home had some issues with the title which meant that she was ineligible for city services or any programs that received state or federal funding. An investor had attempted to swindle her out of her home & she wasn’t sure who to trust and how to proceed.

On the morning that our teams arrived to help it was rainy and cool and she had prepared cider for them all and invited them in once the repairs were done for the morning & began to play the piano for them all which turned into an impromptu concert led by a widow who had every earthly reason to complain, but chose joy.

Now, we aren’t experts in community development or city renewal, but we think something foundational shook that morning. We believe that true reconcilation happens in moments just like these. Moments where we listen well and allow someone else to see things differently than us without breaking fellowship. Where we all give what we can. Where we learn just how much we don’t know & let that change us so that we begin to think together about how we work to seek justice & love mercy and members of one body.

Sure, at one level it is roofs & paint & home repairs. But, it so much more than that.

 

73%

kids under the poverty line

$19,900

Average income in our community

 

16,972

residents in our community

3x

national average for suicide

Numbers provided by the Lynn Institute’s 2016 LIFESTYLE SUMMARY of NEOKC.

 
 

Building relationships that transcend barriers enriches the lives of everyone involved.  

 

We believe that when we look at history, repent in word and action and move forward together we can change the fabric of community. We aren’t interested in repeating our failures, we want to work toward a different future. Just this year, 750 students in Northeast Oklahoma City built relationships with more than 200 school support volunteers who loved and served teachers with every ounce they had in them. We fed lunch to teachers, brought coffee, surrounded their classes with support, brought in teacher training, made sure supplies were plentiful, built out a uniform closet and committed to not letting any kid from our community experience the shame of being dirty at school by putting a laundry facility in place.

We’ve watched more than 500 volunteers paint homes, plant gardens, and repair roofs. We have spent time sitting together & listening. We have gardened together every Friday and shared meals. We believe that building relationships that transcend barriers enriches the lives of everyone involved. We think this is where the real work lies to interrupt the cycle of poverty, crime, and lack of education and improve the odds for all students without seeing the negative impacts of gentrification.

It’s not simple and it takes a lot of work to see cycles break — especially when they are tied to foundational injustices from the beginning of our country. But, we believe that we are all created to be justice-makers and given gifts & resources to invest in one another until we are all able to say that we have truly “loved our neighbor as ourselves.” We believe that means making schools places we’d all put our children, creating jobs we’d all be proud to work, and giving students a chance to become the stakeholders that change the fabric of sustainable food while they invest in a flourishing future for themselves too!

That is development that starts with the assets that already exist and builds on the beauty and resilience of some of the most beautiful saints whom the world never sees. We are so proud to be a part of this work and thankful for the thousands of you who each give what you can to make it all possible.

Grace & Peace.

 
 
 
 

Will join us in seeing reconciliation accomplish restorative justice?

 
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