In the heart of our cities, an unshakable stronghold

When people find out what neighborhood I live in, they often ask me about its safety, the gang activity, the crime. I usually have to pause before answering. Images of neighbors, gang members whose names I've learned, gunshots, sirens, flood my thought.

Can I count the times that I've been mentally on my knees in prayer? Probably not, but neither can I begin to count all the times that I've seen the hand of God tenderly at work—uniting, reassuring, neutralizing conflict. It has been and continues to be a challenging, exhilarating time, filled with the hope and expectation that are inextricably rooted in trusting God's promise for all His children: that we live and move and have our being in Him. Because of this promise, peace in neighborhoods, in families, in our hearts, is not something that's up for grabs.

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