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.

Helping youth offenders
August 7, 1995

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