While in Tulsa this past week I had the opportunity of meeting some amazing people from a ministry called One Hope, an outreach to inner city kids in the Tulsa area. I sat down at Starbucks with Joe Blankenship and his daughter Miriam along with Curtis and Rachel Branch for not even an hour, but after our time together and hearing about the children they are investing in daily, my heart was deeply stirred. You see, just the day before I had finished reading a book called "When Invisible Children Sing" about street kids in Bolivia and their struggle to survive from day to day amidst the violence and poverty and everything that goes hand in hand with calling the streets 'home'. Little did I know how closely the lives of children in America could mirror those I had just read about from a third world country. Both worlds live in extreme poverty and as a result, children are left to fend for themselves, adopting violence at an early age as a means of survival. Abuse, drugs, rape, hunger and illiteracy are everyday factors considered normal by these children who have never known anything different, and falling into the same patterns as the ones who go before them is the only way they feel even remotely accepted.
In talking with Joe and Miriam and hearing how sincerely they desire to reach each child with the Gospel of Jesus, who is their "One Hope," grabbed my heart. They recognize the deep need for these kids to be loved and accepted without condition, the need for a safe environment where children can play and learn and just be kids, and their greatest need for a Savior who cares about each one more than they'll ever know. One Hope is dedicated to training interns in the ways of the Lord and equipping them to reach out to hurting children with the hope of Jesus Christ. One Hope is committed to building lasting relationships with their kids and being a family to these children who may feel abandoned by their own families. The ministry of One Hope is affecting the Tulsa community with the love of Jesus, but they need our help. Thus far, One Hope has been dependent on the generosity of churches and city officials for their meeting location, but the goal is to raise enough money to build their own facility for the children. I encourage you to visit their website at onehopeministry.org and see how you can get connected and extend the love of Jesus to waiting kids in Tulsa.
Check out the article about One Hope in Tulsa World this week: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?articleID=20080719_29_B7_hCampi292912.