And What Does The Lord Require Of You?

By Leah Swank Partnership Coordinator

“…and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah 6:8 ESV

If you were to take a drive down 36th street on the NE side of OKC, you would be surprised at the site you might see. Streets riddled with potholes, several shops and restaurants closed, and homes with obvious repair needs. Take a drive in the opposite direction and you will find well-paved roads, nice parks, and a plethora of places to wine and dine. So why such a stark difference from east to west?

Spend any length of time with the staff at Restore OKC and you will learn the history and background of the NE side of town dating back to the Great Depression. One common denominator weaved throughout the history of this community is justice–and by justice we are referring to the lack of it. While opportunity was ripe for the taking in the opposite direction, many neighbors on the NE side face unemployment, poor education, and broken families. All these combined, make for a neighborhood that lacks any hope for significant change, but when has that ever stopped God from doing his thing?

In the last few years, Restore OKC has leaped into action to be not just the hands and feet of Christ, but to call the Body into action. Through building genuine relationships with their neighbors they have been able to identify the needs of the NE community and have wasted no time to call upon other Christ-followers to help meet those very needs.

When you walk into the Restore office, you will see a simple frame with brushed stroked letters that read the words of Micah 6:8. With each visit made to this ministry, it becomes more and more obvious of just how serious they take that verse. They fight for the broken families that they are connected to with fierce grace and compassion. They build meaningful relationships by treating their neighbors with kindness and dignity. When praised for all the ways they are serving this community, they revert the praise right back to the Father and take none of the credit themselves.

What can we learn from Restore OKC? Three things.

1) Just because there is an obvious lack of justice in a community outside of your own, doesn’t mean there isnt’ a lack of justice in your neighborhood.
Take a moment this week to identify an area in your community where justice may not be at the forefront, and talk with your youth group about ways you can serve to combat this.

2) If we desire to see neighborhoods restored, we need to start with relationships.
Take a moment and identify someone in a part of the community that could connect you to your neighbors in a loving way. Make a point to pray for and connect with that person on a regular basis.

3) Stay humble and be kind. Community restoration is not an overnight process. It takes dedication and humility to earn the trust of a community in need, as well as build lasting relationships.

Take a moment this week and pray for the Lord to give you the courage to humble yourself and to help building genuine relationships with your neighbors.

 

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