For those who have never found themselves in a desperate place it may be hard to identify with those living in poverty. Money talks in America and for many they do not see the way out of the trap of generational poverty. Most feel as if they cannot receive justice and that the system is rigged for their failure. God spoke to the plight of the poor throughout the Bible. In Job it says, “But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth and from the hand of the mighty. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts her mouth.” (Job 5:15-16)
God put on our heart as a church a few years ago to find ways to reach those living on the west side of Bartlesville. Though poverty exists in all areas of Bartlesville, we knew that God was opening the doors for us to make a difference there. We partnered with Virginia Avenue Baptist Church to do our Back to School Bash in their neighborhood and then the following year at Kane Elementary School. God used these ministries to share the love of Jesus with many families outside of those we have traditionally been able to reach.
Over the last few months God has again put the west side of Bartlesville on my heart. I have a vision of having an off-campus worship service which targets those living in poverty. Through prayer and discussion with other ministries we have been given the opportunity to partner with Hope Clinic to target their 1200 patients and offer them a place to worship designed specifically to fit their needs. Part of this vision is for Hope Clinic to provide a free lunch on Sunday followed by a worship service where they can feel loved and appreciated. The best we can tell, there is not another ministry in Bartlesville offering a free meal on Sunday. We will be able to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of those who often feel out of place in a traditional church setting.
Sunday night during our Quarterly Ministry Celebration we will have time for discussion as we determine if we are led as a church to take this step of faith. There are a lot of questions that we do not know answers to and possibly even questions we do not know to ask. We need to pray and seek God’s will. If we believe this is what God is leading us to do, we will have lots of details to begin to put together. We need a location. We need finances. We need a start date. We need volunteers. We need equipment. However, if this is what God is leading us to do he will supply abundantly for our needs. Be here Sunday night at 6:00 as we take the next step of this journey.