The King’s people….His church…showed up on April 8th beginning at 8 a.m. for the 5th Renew the City outreach event. They invested a full day in showing and telling the love of Jesus Christ across one of the darkest sections on the west side of Cleveland. About 300 people from seven churches in the district prayerfully and super-intentionally descended on a 35-block section of homes, vacant properties, refugee enclaves and businesses. During the next eight hours people of all ages along with three pickup trucks, two trailers and a bobcat worked themselves down the streets, filling hundreds of trash bags and unnumbered loads of larger debris. After quickly filling three massive dumpsters with the trash that had blighted the community for years, news spread and soon the ward councilman was out there working with the city to provide further trash removal options. The piles of trash and tires became mountainous. If that were all, well that would be enough, but there is more to truly advancing the Kingdom.
A local partnering, non-C&MA church flooded the streets with people communicating the gospel. Workers regularly stopped to pray with, and share the good news of Jesus with the neighbors whose curiosity quickly drew them out into the streets. Several neighbors joined in the efforts. One retired military veteran was so overcome by the love that he went and bought hundreds of dollars of drinks and snacks and began to pass them out to the workers.
Our partners at the Cuyahoga County Land Bank and the Ward Councilman were overwhelmed at the amount of work being done, the joy of the workers and the response of the neighbors. “I never dreamed church people could do so much,” our land bank friend said. The ward councilman added, “My neighborhood has never been so cared for.”
The partnering church in that area continues to see Kingdom fruit from our labor. Our partner among the refugees in the neighborhood continues to have many doors of opportunity opened to communicate Christ.
I want to thank each of the churches, the hundreds of citizens of the Kingdom of light and Envision Cleveland for making the King proud. Doors have been opened for the eternal destinies of many to be altered. Together, we can move forward into the many opportunities that lie ahead as we seek to push back the darkness among the 7.3 million people to which God has called us.
Reverend Todd Sovine, Director of Church Planting