“The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst. I the Lord will answer them myself, and I will not forsake them. I will open up rivers on bare heights, and springs of water in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land fountains of water. I will put the cedar in the wilderness, the acacia, the myrtle and the olive tree. I will place the juniper in the desert together with the box and cypress tree, that they may see and recognize and consider and gain insight that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy one of Israel has created it." Isaiah 41:17-20
These scriptures are the marching orders that led us to plant Church on the Block. Church on the Block is a House Church located within an apartment complex in Trenton New Jersey. We chose a poverty stricken, high crime, urban neighborhood where many chronically homeless people and those who reside in transitional housing complexes live.
Our aim is simply to be a light within the darkness, a source of Christ’s love and presence to those living in bondage and in seemingly hopeless situations. Church on the Block functions as a house church on Sunday mornings and a meeting place during the week. We hold community events out on the sidewalk in an effort to be the aroma of Christ to a broken and bruised block.
Many people we meet and many people who are a part of our Kingdom community have no real friends or family, some as a result of bridges that were burned and some no fault of their own. Regardless, a person who feels they are unloved and have no one, is a person who has lost hope. Without hope, life is hard, if not unbearable. Through genuine and consistent love and caring, God is building a community of Christ followers who were once unloved and now are loved. Who were once friendless and now have friends. Who were once family-less and now have a family with Christ at the center of it all!