WHEN GOD GIFTS YOU A BULLET PROOF COMMUNITY CENTER, YOU CAN’T SAY NO.
Eric and Shawana Myhre have been youth pastors for the last 16 years but felt God calling them to more. They live in Oakland on the edge of what is known as the Acorn which are housing projects in West Oakland. Eric and Shawana’s heart for discipleship and reaching their neighborhood was something that they could not contain anymore. The Myhres are veterans at the Urban Youth Workers Institute and have completed the 90 Degrees Certification Training as well as hosted the signature event for urban young men called Manhood Camp. They are trusted partners in our UYWI network. This foundation and their love of students and the gospel has helped them thrive in youth ministry but now it was time for the next season.
Because of you, UYWI was able to come along side and coach the Myhres to shape and prepare their vision to reach the Acorn. After a two day session with Tommy Nixon, UYWI Chief Strategy Officer, they walked away with a clear vision and mission with strategic next steps.
“It was an incredible support to have someone walk with us through the challenging and rewarding process of getting the things God has called us into out of the basement of our heart.”
The first practical step was to prayer walk the Acorn. The next week Eric goes out to prayer walk the Acorn and comes across a community center with a sign on the door that says, “If anyone wants to help here please call.” Eric gives the number a call and one meeting later he was invited to use the community center that was just remodeled with bullet proof glass to run an after school program and they offered to pay him. Two weeks later he has 30 kids 4 days a week at the community center. Since he started in November 2017 there have been at least 10 shootings in the neighborhood with one of his students getting shot.
When God gives you a bullet proof community center, you can’t say no. The Myhres are deeply committed to loving the Acorn and UYWI will be there to support them in growing their impact. The preparation and coaching allowed Eric and Shawana to step into how God is moving in the Acorn.