The past week few weeks, months even, have been a roller-coaster for us. With lots of exciting changes and shifts on the horizon, we have been seeking the Lord, spending a lot of time in prayer, doing research, talking to those who are much wiser than us, and trying really hard to be patient. You probably already know that we are in the process of purchasing a house in the “hood.” We have discovered through the process of working with families in the inner-city over the past few years that the depth of their needs, and the heart of the problems plaguing our city, are much deeper and harder to overcome than can be transformed without a drastic shift. The decision to move into the hood was/is a multifaceted one that rests on a variety of factors. Our goal is to reweave the fabric of urban community by building upon existing neighborhood strength. We truly believe that when focused on a single neighborhood with the aim of community transformation, the effects can be dramatic. “Living the gospel means desiring for your neighbor and your neighbor’s family that which you desire for yourself and your family. Living the gospel means bettering the quality of other people’s lives spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally as you better your own. Living the gospel means sharing in the suffering and pain of others” (CCDA).
With this move comes a shift in the way we see ourselves doing ministry. And so it is with much excitement, fear, trepidation, and anticipation (because aren’t our emotions always a little complicated?) that we announce our decision to leave Vision Atlanta and start our own 501c3, called Blueprint 58. Our goal in what we’re doing with Blueprint 58 is identical to what it was at Vision Atlanta: to start a mentoring program. Some of the implementation will look a little different since we are working from within the neighborhood to transform it. We’ve changed some of our philosophies of ministry as we have experienced first-hand the depth of need and the tangles of darkness which have taken root in the city. With Atlanta being the #1 city in the nation for sex trafficking, and our new neighborhood specifically being labeled the 22nd most dangerous neighborhood in the nation, we recognize that we will have to implement a ministry that is sensitive to these needs and holistic in its approach. We firmly believe that transformation best occurs in the context of relationship, and that’s why mentoring is the foundation of our program.
Starting our own ministry puts us in an entirely different position than we were with Vision Atlanta. Although we were responsible for raising our salary at Vision Atlanta, we still had the organization to fall back on to provide us a paycheck if our support-raising efforts ever fell short. With Blueprint 58, on the other hand, our income is solely based on the amount of support we are able to raise. That said, we would love for you to prayerfully consider continuing to support us through Blueprint 58. We are a 501c3, and you will still receive a statement of your giving for tax purposes at the end of the year. Also, if you would consider either increasing your support, or offering a one-time gift to help us meet our budget of $65,000 for the first year of ministry, we would really appreciate it. PLEASE feel free to contact us with any questions you might have regarding the ministry’s structure, budget, goals, board, etc. We love talking about what we’re doing and would love to fill in any gaps in the information we have provided for you. In addition, if there is anyone else you feel might be interested in the work we are doing, or who should be a part of our support team, please let us know and we would love to talk to them too.
Thank you so much for your continual love and support and encouragement. We genuinely could not do what we are doing without you guys. We are continually blown away by the way you allow yourselves to be used by the Lord to provide for our ministry and transform the inner-city.
Thank-you from the bottom of our hearts,