“But Barnabas took hold of him” (Acts 9:27)
I was participating in an urban leadership roundtable about a month ago. One of the participants (a long time executive director of a nationally regarded inner-city resource ministry) expressed this statement, “After many years of involvement with urban initiatives, including various areas of spiritual and community development including leadership development, deed ministry and indigenous economic development, I don’t know if anything has been more effective than my living in an inner-city neighborhood and being in real relationship with my “neighbors.”
I was impacted by her wisdom and candor. But as I reflected on biblical principle and personal experience, I understood her conclusion. Every type of research we do leads us back to the same summation: nothing matters more than healthy, positive, authentic relationship.
Even the great Apostle Paul needed a human advocate, mentor, brother and friend in Barnabas. If we need it, than how much more do the fatherless, forsaken and forgotten of our desolate communities cry out for it!! At Desire Street, we are honored to “take hold” of the men and women, who despite tremendous pressures, struggles and challenges, “take hold” of those in despair—and offer light, guidance, empowerment, hope and friendship that leads to holistic victory.
So march on God’s people! Love thy neighbor as your own!
Dr. Anthony Gordon
Director of Spiritual and Community Development