Monday, December 29, 2008

"Can these dry bones live?"

In Detroit's crumbling State Fair neighborhood a small church continues to be the good Samaritan:

As cars sped past on John R, Pastor Toni Brown and her associates, Brenda Reddick and JoeAnn Smith, stood patiently on the curb, Bibles held aloft, holding a handwritten sign that invited passersby to stop for a moment and pray with them at high noon on a street corner in a rundown neighborhood.

“We get all sorts of people who stop,” Brown said. “Cab drivers, police officers. They’ll stop and stand with us and pray out here.”

But their main target is the residents of the neighborhood. Brown runs God’s Storehouse, a classic storefront church in the State Fair neighborhood that began in 1989 when she and her family began the church. Back then, they didn’t even have a building; instead they worked out of their cars, driving around the city, giving out food and blankets to the destitute.

Just as Detroit provides a glimpse into the possible future of America's cities, so God's Storehouse gives us some idea of what Christian ministry will look like in the midst of a ruined economy.

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