Last night 20/20 reported on the city of Camden, NJ. I didn’t want to let my heart go *there,* so I decided to record it to be watched at a later time.
For those of you who do not know, the city of Camden is the poorest city in the US…and about 6 miles from my front door. It had the highest crime rate for several years. In 2006, the crime rate dropped in the city.
The last ministry in which I was involved at The River was Adopt-a-Block. It is their version of what is happening in Los Angeles at the Dream Center. I went every Saturday morning for many months into Pyne Point in North Camden. We cleaned up the streets. We developed relationships with individuals on the block to which we were assigned. Before I left the church, I stepped down from this ministry because of school and other obligations. Leaving the streets of Camden remains one of the most difficult decisions in my life. Perhaps one of my only regrets.
This morning, I watched the story. I have to give credit where credit is due. 20/20 actually objectively reported on the city, and the people of the city. I’m fairly certain that much of the story was shot in Pyne Point…the streets with which I am so familiar. As I watched the story, I smelled the bodegas frying up their food; I heard the scampering feet of the children who would run out of their houses as we arrived, looking for the doughnuts, bagels, bread that we brought with us. I saw the faces of the elderly lady that I visited so often. I remembered laughing at the guys in our group attempting to put up blinds in a house. I chuckled as I heard James tell me that I didn’t have to worry in North Philly ’cause “you’re a big girl, and guys don’t want to mess with no big girl.”
Last week as I rode the train through Camden, I teared up. I love that city so much. I love the people of that city. And you know what? I know that God will use me to make a difference in that city. I don’t know how. I don’t know when. But I know that I know that He will make a way.
If you want to watch the video, you can go to http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2823563