I have been serving low-income communities for 10 years. I oversee the Garnet community where we coach churches to live out the gospel in their communities. The youth in my neighborhood deal with fatherlessness, alcohol, poverty and local gangs. Solidarity empowers believers to be dynamic followers of Christ whose lifestyle marked by love will impact communities towards holistic transformation. Our strategy to get involved in communities includes: after-school programs, community development, immigration reform, mentoring, education and gang prevention/intervention.
90 Degrees Certification Program has helped me to identify my personal strengths and weaknesses. I have learned how to manage myself as a leader and lean on my team for their strengths. The “Soul Care” course has helped me in my neighborhood ministry. It has taught me the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and giving myself permission to focus on developing sustainable spiritual practices and principles that will restore life and vitality to my soul. I have learned how to more effectively reach to staff and kids by creating a healthy system.
Most kids who live in low-income communities are rarely exposed to new things and ideas and tend to easily give in to peer-pressure. At a Solidarity teen workshop, we introduced a rock climbing 10 week course where one rock climbing expert taught the kids in the neighborhood how to rock climb. Kevin is a teenager who had never rock climbed before, he learned how to rock climb and fell in love with the sport. The rock climbing workshops also gave us an opportunity to bring him closer to Jesus. He eventually became so good at rock climbing that he even became better than his instructor. Rock climbing kept Kevin away from the destructive path of drugs and gangs that many kids in his community give in to because of lack of mentors and idleness.
Kevin went on to graduate from high school and we empowered him to start leading and teaching the rock-climbing workshop to other kids. We are privileged to have the opportunity to empower young people to be dynamic followers of Christ whose lifestyles marked by love will impact communities towards holistic transformation.
Ministry Action Plan
The Ministry Action Plan that I was able to develop from the 90 Degrees Certification program is focused on community development. The neighborhoods we reach out to are mostly low-income families, 90% Mexican. I plan to create and implement a holistic model for community transformation which will include family wellness, character and spiritual development and crime reduction. We’ll target kids from 0-24 years and implement models to connect with their parents.
Garnet Initiative Director, Solidarity, Fullerton, CA