I don’t do “run downs”. I figure if you don’t know what’s going on in my life there is probably a reason for it, and sharing it in blog form is odd.
Which then makes me wonder, “Well, Ms. Smarty Pants, why do you blog? Just to share stupid things only you find humorous? Is it a vehicle whose sole purpose is to humiliate your step-cat and his no-balls status?”
To which I answer myself with “Shut up. This blog is deep. Very deep. And spiritual. And it is a way for me to see how much I’ve grown. As a person. As a grown-up, to be more exact… so…so there, Know-It-All Inner Voice.”
Unfortunately, Inner Voice is right, I should share more about what is actually going on in life. Not only that, I’m really excited about what is going on…
Basically, we live in Antioch which has become synonymous with “da hood”, “the part of town I don’t want to be in after dark”, or “that place where all the gang members live… all of them… even the ones in Los Angeles… yeah, I saw it on the news. They moved here when Nissan came”.
I’ve lived in this area pretty much my entire life, and I have never felt unsafe (well, except for the time the afternoon news reported that a girl had been walking in broad daylight and had been kidnapped on a street literally 200 feet from my front door. I swear to goodness that I hid in a closet until someone else got home with me. I was 21). I don’t feel like if I’m wearing the wrong colors I’m going to get gunned down. And yes, I still go to Hickory Hollow Mall. At night. Alone.
Because the people of Antioch don’t scare me. They are people. They are tired from long days at work. They love their babies, and want to see them grow up to do something good in the world. Sometimes you even catch a glimmer of hope in someone’s eyes or smile that says he believes he can do some good in the world.
And I’m tired of all the people “giving up” on Antioch. Calling this area, these people (please don’t ever forget that we are speaking about people) hopeless. That’s such dangerous thinking, and it flies directly in the face of everything I understand about God, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I wanted to believe there was hope, that God had to be working within us, His people. So I started looking.
And I found CreateFaith. We found a pastor at a local church who wanted to start an after school program for the young teenagers in the area. We put together a plan, presented it to him last week, and are in the process of making this after school program a reality!
In this process I’ve found out that lots of people have hope and belief in our community. Many different groups are all of a sudden, in a way that is powerful, a way that assures me Someone bigger than me is working for his people, coming together to create change on a simple local level.
We’re hoping to start CreateFaith this semester at the Antioch Middle School and house it at the Antioch United Methodist Church (hopefully, the trustees have to talk about it now). We’re wanting to just be around the kids during hours when adults can’t really afford to be around. We’re going to do some curriculum that will inspire them to care about their community and build a sense of purpose around what they are being taught in school.
We have a place, we have people, and this is, seriously, just one part of the story…