A Pebble Tossed in the Pond

Reverend Leon Kelly (The Rev) of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives preached at God's Grace on Sunday. The basis for his message was this equation:

Vision + Faith = Motivation

 He focused on the faith part. Maybe the faith part is what makes it possible for him to wake up and go to work every morning. Because even after 20 years of trying to save kids from gangs, he keeps burying young men. But after reading this article on the front page of Sunday's Denver Post, I'm convinced that it's the vision part that changes the lives of the young people The Rev reaches.

Take a few minutes to read this article. It starts off with this quote:

"A pebble tossed in the pond, and the rings are still going out."

The "pebble" was a group of 69 teens who formed a gang in Denver 23 years ago. That pebble has spawned "rings" that today comprise 8,800 members of 78 violent street gangs in Denver. Quite the pebble.

In the article, The Rev says,

"In a gang, they have some acceptance, some identity. People know they are alive."

Through Open Door, The Rev gives young people and their parents a vision for identity and acceptance that goes counter to gang culture. That vision is about family and friends and positive choices....and faith. And that vision is a pebble, tossed in the pond. Its rings will keep going out. And maybe they'll have the power to neutralize some of the rings from that pebble 23 years ago.

God's Grace Community Church is the only church in the metro area partnering with Reverend Kelly and Open Door. Come see for yourself how this pebble tossed into the pond is making ripples. Every Friday this summer, you can help host a picnic for Open Door and meet some of the staff and kids at Open Door. You won't regret it. Contact Claudia Larson for details.


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