He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

CGM-Year End Letter

transforming communities by investing in urban youth
Thank You
Bryan Kelley
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As I reflect over the last year my hope is to glorify God, encourage you, and ask for your help.
   Our vision continues to become a reality as we see lives and the neighborhood transformed in many ways.
   My wife drove around the corner from our home and saw a beautiful picture of the kingdom of God the other day. A father was sitting on the front porch with his daughter, calling out words for her school spelling bee. Her younger sister sat at his feet watching. The picture of a godly father and husband taking responsibility for and nurturing his children is rare in our neighborhood and my wife was overcome with thankfulness as she sat and watched. 
   If I were writing a parable to fit in with Jesus' I would write this one as: "The Kingdom of God is like a man who was lost, finding his identity in a gang and living out hate and isolation in drive-by shootings. He shot people and in return was shot. The King loved him so much, even in his rebellion and isolation, that he sent some of his own sons to show him love and share the good news of His Kingdom. His heart was changed upon hearing the gospel and he repented of his sin and lifestyle and he and his whole family called upon the name of the Lord." And now this same the man is representing the King in our neighborhood by being a father and a husband, and leading many other kids daily to the King and away from gangs.
  This snapshot of the vision God has given us is one of many we have seen this past year. Pray for us, for this family, and our community as we all have a LONG way to go.
  Consider some of the things I am thankful for:
  •   In the last year generous people contributed towards our brand new gym floor, where after-school programming occurs and new basketball teams now play.
  •   Four homes were completed by our partner ministry, House2House, that we launched.
  •   Our “Annex” building was completed across the street, which now houses our new Urban SEED Xchange youth entrepreneurship program and House2House.
  •   All the funds for the T-shirt company machinery our kids are starting have been pledged, and production on shirts will begin soon!
  •   We are now moving toward hiring teachers to help us further develop our kids academically.
  •   We have now begun “Discipleship” groups with 26 older kids outside of the programs. We trust that God would use these groups to build leaders.
  •   Strong Tower at Washington Park, a wonderful new partner church plant, has now begun in our community and is focusing much of its ministry on the families of the kids we serve.
  Would you consider a year-end gift to help us continue to invest in the kids of Washington Park and Gibbs Village? 
  I want to thank you on behalf of my family, our staff family, and many families in our neighborhood for the prayer and personal and financial investments you have made over the last year. It would be crazy and foolish on my part not to see that God is using us together to impact this community and to change us for the better in the process as we work together. Thank you for your partnership.
Psalm 34:3,
Bryan Kelly
Christmas Store
Toys and Gift Cards are pouring in!!! Thanks to all who are giving, have given, and those who are still planning to! We appreciate your help in making our 5th Annual Christmas Store a success for our community.
If you've been to our website recently, you'll have noticed some outdated material. We are currently in the process of getting it updated and (hopefully) in a format where we can update all the time!