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I am Glenda. Pray with me today: I pray for world peace. I pray for peace in my community. I pray for all of the people and families that have lost loved ones to violence here. I pray for those incarcerated. I pray for the children. May we all find peace.
I hope our children can hear this message: Come up out of the streets. All there is in the streets is death. I don't want to watch another drive-by shooting on the corner. I want to see our children getting an education. I want to see them in places like the Bethlehem Center, where there is hope for something better.
Violence is a problem here. It's not safe like it used to be. Kids can't just go out for the day and roam the streets. On top of violence in the streets we have animal problems. Many have heard about dogs that are running around, but we also have a raccoon problem. There are five in a drain across the street from my house. I also have two opossums in my backyard. No one is helping us deal with the problem and I can't let my children out to play for fear that they will get bit by something. Some days are hard. Sometimes when I think that things can't get more difficult, we are hit with another challenge in life. That happens everywhere and it is a great reminder of the humanity of all of us. I lost my sister, and we struggled to find the funds for a proper burial. My mother is ill and due to economic circumstance I may have to move out of this neighborhood that I love. Tough stuff is a part of all of our lives. Turn to the Man upstairs. He's going to help me and anyone else get through the hard times.
Outsiders are welcome. It is fun to get to know churches that come back again and again to interact with the community. Our own churches aren't so involved here, at least from what
I see, so I am thankful to get to know other people of faith. We have volunteers here that also help with the Food Pantry that is at Bethlehem Center. I have seen George drive groceries to a community member that couldn't come get their items.
It makes a difference in a community.
In ten years, I expect it will look a lot different. There will be new construction and better places to live. It will give the children here more pride in their community and hopefully a better chance at a good education. I want for my babies to say, "We broke the cycle." Families need support and I think that the community will continue to get more and more assistance. When I was in school, we didn't have Truancy Officers that cared if we were in school or not. It's good for parents today to be informed about what is happening with their kids and for the kids to know that someone cares if they're at school or not. But I hope that places like the Bethlehem Center stay around in the change. I want my babies to be able to come back to celebrate a place that gave them happy memories. I want for them to be able to say, "Remember Mr. George, Ms. Fran and Mr. Brandon…we had so many great times with them!"
And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for
those who make peace. James 3:18