A Key Breakthrough
Hey it's only a key.Yes, just a key.It's what that key means that makes it such a big deal. We've waited so long for it. It's the key to a local community center. It used to be busy with kids every day after school: a computer lab, basketball, feeding programs, 4-H clubs and boy scouts. But with tightening budgets and no staff, the center was locked during after school hours and all weekend. In other words, just when kids could use it.For years, the Housing Authority gave us the keys. You see, after years of Freedom Fire working with the kids, they trusted us and so with that key we used it every Saturday for a mentoring/basketball activity for 10-20 young men: just what it was built for. It was the perfect partnership between public and private organizations. They had the building and no staff; we had the staff and no building.Ah, but then things changed. New leadership at the Housing Authority meant people who didn't know us, and no trust meant no keys. The locks were changed and that was that. Our appeals fell on deaf ears. So we searched for another home for our Saturday meetings, traveling from center to center with mixed results. Effective ministry in the City requires consistency of time and place. The lives of our kids are filled with inconsistencies of all kinds, and it takes time for them to realize you will be showing up EVERY week, even if they don't. So our years traveling from place to place didn't work too well.But another thing we've learned: if you hang around long enough, the local leadership will change again. So when that happened we asked once again about maybe, possibly, pretty please can we have a key? This time, it was sweet music to our ears.“Yes”Let the fun begin!