Goodness in OKC!
Friday 3rd August 2018 @ 6:29 pm
Yesterday I had the pleasure and privilege of attending a lunch given by Be The Change – Oklahoma. They work amongst some of the city’s most vulnerable and needy – primarily homeless at risk youth. They do an incredible job of providing services and hope to kids on the street … Over 80% of which have been forced to trade sexual activity for food / shelter / drugs. One of the standout realities to me was the number of LGBTQ+ teenagers on the streets, a significantly high percentage of which are there because Christian families have distanced themselves from them – literally thrown them out of their homes.
This is especially significant because another one of the most noteworthy things about this State is that they are the second biggest ‘Christian’ state in the USA … Per head of population there is only one other place in the country that has more churches. Take that in again – only one place in this massive country has more churches than Oklahoma.
And another interesting thing? Oh yes – Oklahoma has the highest rate of incarceration in the world.
In the world.
The most Christian state, and this most Christian city, sends more people to jail than anywhere else in the world, and has a massive amount of gay kids on the street because they have been thrown out of their homes.
And in the middle of it, the wonderful people of OKC first Nazarene church are working to give people a wonderful worship experience on Sunday’s, and throughout the week they are working to change their city. They know that the statistics for this city show that kids who have dropped behind by more than a grade in their literacy ability by Grade 3 are thirteen times more likely to be one of those who end up in jail.
And so they run kids clubs that teach literacy. They support parents.
They connect with the City in their juvenile justice work to create schemes in their neighbourhood that raise the level of literacy and responsibility.
And they make sure that the LGBTQ+ community know they are welcome through their church doors and their homes.
It was a pleasure to hang with them. Here’s to those all around the world working in the light of the resurrection.
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