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I am Jay, pray with me today: May the hearts of all of those who pray for the work that we are doing with Zip Code Connection be united in a greater community of God's love and grace. I need God’s love to share God's love.
I grew up in Garland, but most of my family was in South Dallas. My cousins were my best friends and they lived there and my best friend was there. I graduated from Rockwall High School and moved to South Dallas to join them. I say that I was on my negative back then.
There was a crack epidemic in the neighborhood. I got involved in a lot of stuff that I shouldn't have and I was good at it. My family and friends died during that time.
My cousins were killed. My best friend served time and was killed in prison. His 17-year-old brother was killed. People die in the neighborhood.
Black on black violence is the root of most of the death but it's cause, the problem, is poverty. If you're broke, and you're a man and have a family to feed, but there are no jobs then you find that it will put you in a really bad mood. Add guns to that and….
I did time, and when I returned to South Dallas I had a son. That changed everything. I got involved in my community and have been serving ever since. I created my own non-profit called HipHop Government. We do work with a lot of the organizations in the neighborhood and have been for a while. When Bishop McKee said that the North Texas Conference was going to end poverty in South Dallas, it was what we needed to push harder to do our work and to believe, really believe, that we could do better for the future.
There is a lot of systematic poverty stemming from generations of bad habits and turmoil. No one can just walk in and fix it. It has to come from within the community. When the Bishop made the declaration out loud, it gave those who are working from within hope that it is possible to rebuild. It's a blessing to have the heart of the Bishop and the church to join us from within.
He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on." Luke 21: 3-4