“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7 NIV)
Cities are exciting. Filled with life, cities are hubs for culture, transportation, and education. People flock to cities for greater career opportunities, access to medical care, and for many other reasons.
Cities and their urban populations are significant mission fields with unique challenges, including poverty, crime, and disenfranchisement. WGM is involved in inner-city ministry in several U.S. locations and around the world, including (but not limited to) the following:
The Center: Stockton, California
The Center is an after-school drop-in center for at-risk kids ranging in age from preschool through high school, reaching out to hundreds of children and youth each year. The majority of these children are from single-parent families, many of which are consumed by substance abuse and the gang lifestyle.
Working under the motto, “Giving faith, hope, and love to inner-city kids and their families,” The Center offers alternative activities to kids who would otherwise be home alone or running the streets. Such activities include Bible Club, recreation, crafts, snacks, camps, and the Learning Center. More importantly, the kids are introduced to Jesus Christ, giving them a constant in their lives so they can make good decisions and live for Him.
Out of Nazareth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a U.S. healthcare hub, but it also has the highest unemployment and poverty rates among the 10 most populous cities in the States. Missionaries with Out of Nazareth seek to minister in this urban setting through medical and community development ministries.
Through Hope Pregnancy Center and Miriam Medical Clinics—medical care centers run by missionaries and volunteers from local churches—compassionate care is being given to people who lack access to healthcare. The clinics provide holistic—physical and spiritual—care to patients, following the model of Jesus’ healing ministry.
El Camino Restoration Home: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
More than 5,000 children and teenagers live on the streets of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, which is the fastest-growing city in South America. Living conditions for these kids are extremely harsh, and the kids are vulnerable to becoming addicted to drugs, sniffing glue, and alcohol. They are also at risk of being manipulated into entering the criminal world through stealing and prostitution.
WGM has partnered with YWAM (Youth With a Mission) to help boys ages 8 to 17 rebuild their lives at the El Camino Restoration Home. A rescue home for girls is also in operation, but WGM staff currently work with the boys’ home. Over the last 10 years, these two homes have seen over 200 children come through their doors.
Project Manuelito: Talanga, Honduras
Project Manuelito is a ministry to children who have lived in and on the streets of Honduras. Having been homeless as a child himself, Pastor Jorge Pinto led his church in a project to help get kids off the streets. Project Manuelito focuses on housing and caring for both girls and boys who have been abandoned by their parents and have been exposed to abuse, illness, drugs, and violence.
Partner with Inner-City Ministries
PRAY: Pray that God will be lifted up and glorified in these ministries to people who live in the inner city. Pray also for safety and wisdom for the missionaries and volunteers who serve.
GO: Ministry opportunities are available to serve in inner-city ministry. Visit www.wgm.org/go for more information.
SHARE: Download this speaker outline about inner-city ministry, and spread the world!