The Bridge Church is celebrating our 23rd year of Missions Festival Month. Below is the article I wrote for our "Bridge to the Nations" magazine.
For Missions Month in 2010, we are partnering with a local agency that starts in the heart of Fresno but touches the world. We have an organization here in town that instills the heart of God in His people as they choose to follow Him and learn to love like He loves us.
Fresno - 55 violent gangs in Fresno with 7,000 members.
Fresno - Where 30% of families are below the poverty line.
Fresno - 5th poorest city in the nation.
Fresno - Largest refugee population in the United States.
Fresno - Where 50% of the nations' meth is produced.
Fresno - 22 neighborhoods of concentrated poverty.
Fresno - 3,000 children in the Fresno Unified School District have been identified as homeless.
Fresno - 4th highest teen pregnancy rate in the United States.
Fresno - 35% of adults don’t have high school diplomas. The dropout rate exceeds the state average by 36%.
Based upon the above statistics, Fresno seems like a lost cause. This past year, however, we have seen Fresno in a whole new light. There is beauty in the brokenness. The brokenness that is our lives, that is our city, that is our world. God came to live amongst us. In John 1:14 it says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”
None of us is worthy of the love of God, yet He gives to us generously. We look, we judge, we turn away. God looks, he loves, he embraces. He left his home, his comfort, He incarnated himself to be one with us. The incarnation of Jesus is the means which Christ reaches out to us, the message he wants to communicate to us, and the model for how we are to minister.
What if God’s heart for the least of these and the City of Fresno infiltrated your heart? Did you know that there are more than 300 verses in the Bible about God’s heart for the poor and for justice? God desires for us to love like he loves, to see as he sees, and to do as he does.
We are partnering with InterVarsity’s Fresno Institute for Urban Leadership (FIFUL). It's an organization that seeks the Shalom of the city. Our city. Fresno.
Join us in helping to transform inner-city Fresno from the inside... by equipping builders to expand the kingdom.