VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 12/8/16)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) reports that its 16 Neighborhood Action Program (NAP) Christian centers have been making a difference during 2016, serving as the hands and feet of Christ throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. A sampling follows.
“I am grateful for the miraculous opportunities God makes possible through the partnerships ABHMS nurtures with NAP Christian centers. I am grateful for ABHMS colleagues who work behind the scenes to bring good to these centers,” says the Rev. Lisa Harris-Lee, ABHMS national coordinator of Christian Center Relations. “The stories of transformation NAP leaders share are the result of the effort, time, creativity, hopefulness, generosity and prayers of committed staff, volunteers, participants and partners who say, ‘All of us working together can improve our lives and communities.’ The Christian centers are great stewards of the resources they receive, as they help children, families and individuals rise over hurdles and renew their hope.”
Bethel Neighborhood Center, Kansas City, Kan.
Bethel Neighborhood Center has exceeded the $2 million goal of its “Magnifying the Light & Hope” capital and program ministry campaign, which seeks to fund a variety of projects. ABHMS is contributing $65,000 to the campaign. Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Shawnee, Kan., has announced that it will donate the 2017 allocated support it receives from American Baptist Churches of the Central Region to Bethel’s campaign.
Edna Martin Christian Center, Indianapolis
Edna Martin Christian Center received a $100,000 Visionary Award from The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation. Known for community programs that increase self-sufficiency, educational achievement and career development in Indianapolis’ Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood, the organization was chosen because it reflects the values, history and mission of The Indianapolis Foundation and has demonstrated a commitment to the city’s future.
Milwaukee Christian Center’s “Building Neighborhood Capacity Program” recently marked completion of its “Learn by Doing” project with a ribbon cutting by the mayor, blessing and fellowship in front of the mural at its new resident-created neighborhood gathering space on the city’s South Side. In. addition, the center recently celebrated the 14th home constructed by participants in its YouthBuild program, which allows young adults to learn how to construct a home while attaining their GED.
Shores of Hope (formerly United Christian Centers), West Sacramento, Calif.
Shores of Hope provides a variety of programs, including health outreach for Russian-speaking women, food and pet food pantry, Homework Club with dinner, internships and transitional housing. The organization is currently in talks to incorporate its job-training programs into the curriculum of another organization that provides high school diplomas to adults at least aged 22. Its unique employment model includes hiring and promoting former clients.
Weirton (W.Va.) Christian Center
ABHMS presented a $60,000 One Great Hour of Sharing Domestic Development Grant to Weirton Christian Center, which is constructing a large building with a USDA-approved kitchen to better serve the approximately 300 children from struggling families that it serves yearly. While the center currently provides a healthy snack after school and dinner five days weekly, the plan is to add lunch for the preschool program and to provide at least one meal on weekends.
All NAP centers are supported by ABHMS’ yearly America for Christ Offering.
For more information about ABHMS’ NAP centers, visit www.abhms.org > Ministries > Neighborhood Action Program Christian Centers. The centers’ websites tell fuller stories of all the ways they are healing and transforming communities.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists in answering God’s call to promote Christian faith across the United States and Puerto Rico to cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and heal and transform communities, by developing aligned action networks and programs.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.