"Welcome to Franklinville"

Those of you who know me, know that being lost for words is not something I ever struggle with. However, I find myself unable, once again to express the impact on me that this past week's mini-outreach in Philadelphia had. It was amazing to see what God is doing and to watch Him work through our team. It started with Hubie and his incredible Koinonia Connection Ministry. A couple of years ago, Hubie, his wife, Cheryl, and their daughter followed God's call to move from rural Lancaster County to Franklinville, a "ghetto" in north Philadelphia with the highest homicide rate in the city.

When Hubie moved in, this area was dominated by drug dealing, poverty and hopelessness. Not long after their arrival, the "Sub Shop" next door, (aka: Guns and Drugs Store) erupted in an all out gun battle that poured out into the street outside Hubie's new home.

Today, the drug dealing is gone and Hubie tells the most amazing testimony of God's work. Now God's presence can be felt and seen everywhere. The change in Franklinville is most evident when you travel a few blocks away and see where true evil still has a hold on the people and neighborhoods.

We worked in the neighborhoods, put on skits and preached. Tuesday night we had more than twenty youth come to Christ. Other nights we worked with Joetta, a one woman ministry to the homeless in downtown Philladelphia. We met with, shared with and prayed over men who call the streets home. As we prayed we could feel God's love for these men.

One day we put on a program and fed the homeless at one of the countries oldest shelters. The next evening on the streets several homeless people we met were still talking about our skits at the shelter!

They were experiences I will never forget, and that will mark me and my ministry forever. I couldn't help but equate the experience to our future work with the street children of Ukraine.

Needless to say most of us did not want to leave. May God continue to bless Hubie, Cheryl and Joetta for their selfless service on the streets of Philadelphia. And may I never lose sight of what God taught me this week about myself and Him.