Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Outrageously Cute Giggles Are All The Same Throughout the ABCs...

Urban Hope is a church and training center in the heart of Kensington, a section of Philadelphia nicknamed the "Badlands."  For those people who live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the word “Kensington” is almost an obscene word – right up there with, well, never mind.

In the past six months or so that I have been attending Urban Hope, I’ve had so many of my suburban myths about the area utterly destroyed. 

There is much that I would like to share with you but allow me to start with what I have realized from a little girl I’ll name “Dee.”  Dee is five years old and she has the same smile and outrageously cute giggle as the five year old girl in Aston, Bryn Mawr, Concordville, Devon, Essington, Frazer, Glen Mills, Haverford, Intercourse, Jim Thorpe, Kennett Square, Lansdale, Marcus Hook, New Hope, Oxford, Paoli, Quarryville, Ridley, Shippensburg, Thornton, Unionville, Valley Forge, Wallingford, York and Zieglerville, PA.

The difference between Dee and the little girls (and boys) in these 25 alphabetically listed towns and cities in Pennsylvania is that she stands a much higher chance of never really understanding the alphabet and growing up and into any one of many different unhealthy lifestyles – if she survives at all that is…

Dee is fortunate, however, to live in the influence of the eXtraordinary.  Kingdom Kids is one of the primary programs of Urban Hope.  For the past 20 years or so (two weeks for me), people from Urban Hope have been going door to door to gather the children of the community and bring them to the church for a dynamic experience that introduces them to the message of Christ. 

As part of the “Grace Brethren” denomination of churches, Urban Hope is probably not part of your denomination (Episcopal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, United Methodist, etc…).  If the members of your denomination include human beings with two eyes, a nose, mouth, chin and on occasion an outrageously cute giggle, then your denomination’s membership is no different than that of Urban Hope.  I invite you to bring representatives of your church to Urban Hope sometime soon for the day, weekend or week to experience the eXtraordinary blessings found only in the Badlands.

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