urbanyouthphotoHave you ever heard of zip code 30314?  It’s the fifth most dangerous city to live in in the US.  Comparing it to all the other cities, you are 6 times more likely to be murdered, 8 times more likely to be robbed, and most children don’t stand a chance to be a productive asset to society with a high school graduation rate of 40%.

A small country church assistant pastor was asked to take 2 months and close down a church in this dangerous neighborhood.  Thinking it may be exciting to do something different, he was happy to take on what seemed like a simple task.

The first week he preached there, a prostitute came, heard his message, and changed her life.

The next week she brought by one of her former customers and after just hearing the first song, he went forward and said he needed to change his life as well.

The following week the former prostitute brought 6 of her friends and they all left changed.

The church that barely had 20 attend was now pushing 100.

This pastor was commuting from an affluent area where he and his wife were raising 4 daughters.  He was living his small-town “Andy Griffith” dream.  However, realizing that the church needed to stay opened, they made the decision to move their family to one of the worst places to live in the US.  In the first year, their house was burglarized 35 times.  Their car was broken into 22 times and stolen 5 times. On multiple occasions, the pastor had to physically defend his family.  Even still, they were committed to their “yes” and wouldn’t leave.

Today, they have stepped out beyond the 4 walls of the church building and created a “City of Refuge” for the community.  They serve over 10,000 meals per month, house over 250 women and children to help them get back on their feet, have a mercy clinic, school, and much more.  All of this came to be because one person said “yes” in spite of countless reasons to say no.

What can you do to say “yes” to something great?

  • Take a step out of your normal day-to-day routine, to see where you can serve.
  • Open your heart and mind to possibilities.
  • Allow yourself to think beyond yourself.
  • Pray, listen and follow.
  • Do not allow fear to stand in your way.
  • Realize that it really does just take ONE who says yes, to shift the tide of a family, community, nation, and even the world.

 

Visit http://www.cityofrefugeatl.org.