Meet Your Missions Partner
Making those near and far a little more familiar
Say Hello to Urban Hope!
Urban Hope reaches out passionately to the most under-resourced communities in Staten Island and NYC. They have mobilized a vast network of churches with a clear mission to collaboratively adopt the most challenging neighborhoods, Public Housing Communities, and struggling schools in NYC.
Through consistent neighborhood door-to-door prayer/visitation/evangelism, literacy initiatives in elementary schools, and youth outreach in Public Housing Communities they have seen a drastic drop in violence and a dramatic rise in community hope.
God has blessed these endeavors beyond their wildest dreams as it seems endless Gospel and educational resources have been made available for all the partnering churches. Last year alone, 26 tractor trailer loads of books, Jesus Film DVD’s, and beautiful tracts were distributed by nearly two thousand partnering churches during their citywide summer outreach explosion called: “Jesus Week!”
David Beidel, the founder, believes that Jesus wants to saturate NYC with the great news of His amazing love. When churches serve together in His name, this dream becomes reality.
A Quick Letter from David to SCC
Dear Sanibel Church friends,
I cannot express the blessing that you have been to me personally and to our ministry in NYC. You have been amazing partners in the Gospel. Together, we have seen thousands come to Christ on Staten Island’s North Shore and hundreds of thousands throughout NYC. It is our dream that every community in Staten Island and NYC would have several churches partnering together to share the Gospel and care for every neighborhood, school, housing project and ethnic group. Thousands of churches in the tri-state region are now marching towards this goal. Although we spearhead this larger regional movement, in our neighborhood we focus on three transnational outreach approaches:
- Literacy: We are very excited about the impact this volunteer based initiative is having. Reading at grade level by 3rd grade is the most significant, trajectory setting challenge inner-city and under-resourced children face. 85% of the justice involved teens of our city are illiterate. If a child is not reading by 3rd grade, they are statistically doomed to poverty and criminality. We launched a “stop the bleeding” campaign three years ago to address this vital issue. Today, over 300 children from three of the most impoverished neighborhoods schools in Staten Island have jumped the 3rd grade literacy hurdle. We see a straight path to ending 2nd grade illiteracy in Staten Island and eventually NYC.
- Leadership Development: We are intentionally taking our children on a journey of character and leadership development. We stipend all of the “graduates” of our after school and summer camp programs to serve as “Street Leaders” (junior counselors). They serve in various age appropriate ways and we take advantage of the excellent opportunity to teach them life, leadership and vocational skills. We have found that the pull of negative influences in our neighborhood is especially challenging to our young teens. We provide them with a healthy rite of passage which helps them to learn responsibility, employment and leadership skills. This helps them greatly to redirect their adolescent passion and energy in a positive and rewarding manner.
- Reconnecting disconnected youth: This initiative was the second portion of our “stop the bleeding campaign.” We launched the literacy ministry and the New Life Basketball League simultaneously after several terrible murders and the tragic death of Eric Garner rocked and destabilized our ministry region. Our basketball league draws teams from the Housing Projects across the entire North Shore. We have been able to minister to hundreds of teenagers on a regular basis.
Our approach to all of these ministries is proactively collaborative. We serve with dozens of churches, public schools, religious non-profits and secular non-profits to leverage and maximize impact with vested indigenous partners. We all have similar goals for the well being of the children and the community. We believe that as we are woven together we form a kind of social “Kevlar” and make our communities bulletproof. This has given us tremendous favor on all sides. Even in NYC, the most contentious, anti-christian environment in the nation, we are looked on as beloved community partners working and often spearheading the way towards healing and transformation.
Your prayers, love and support have had an extraordinary impact on us and NYC. We cherish and treasure every thought of all of you!
In Christ Alone: ~ David Beidel