Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Camden

Camden is a small city of about 80,000 in New Jersey across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. The city has the sixth highest crime rate in the entire nation, and has the highest crime rate for small-sized cities. Drugs and violence abound; it is estimated that there are 200-300 active drug corners in the city. It is also the poorest city in the state of New Jersey, and the second poorest area in the country. Camden suffers from an unemployment rate of 16.2%; four times the national average. However great the physical needs of the city are, the spiritual needs are far greater. Sound, evangelical churches have fled from the ghettos of Camden, and the enemies of the Gospel have readily filled the vacuum. Yet, God has not abandoned the city of Camden. In the middle of the city, Pastor Ben Alvira faithfully proclaims the good news of Jesus Christ week after week at Tabernaculo de Gracia; and Looking Forward Ministries diligently extends ChristÂ’s love to those in need.

I have had the privilege to minister in Camden for three years. I look forward to challenges for myself and the rest of the team, and hope that this year affords many opportunities to minister in this unique environment. If previous years are any indicators, the trip offers many opportunities to grow not only spiritually, but also socially with the other members of the team. May we truly function well as a team for the glory of God and the furtherance of His kingdom in Camden.

1 comment:

Justin Dombrowski said...

Groovy! Let's have another post!