by Betty Alvarez Ham President City Impact November 24th, 2015
“Be strong and let you heart take courage,
all you who hope in the LORD” (Psalms 31:24)
Two weeks ago, I was in a meeting with members of law enforcement, probation, a juvenile judge, a couple of grant evaluators, a pastor and City Impact’s Vice President of Programs. We were discussing the needs of the high-risk youth and families that are involved in the Transformation Works – Ventura County Project. I was somewhat taken aback with the statistics of arrests and the number of weapons and drugs seized in eight short months. Yet, in spite of those dismal numbers, 69 individuals entered into the program and 126 family members were provided services and referrals
I left the meeting reminded about the critical work that City Impact does; and my heart was also inspired to take courage in meeting the needs of the wounded. In the book of Matthew, Chapter 9:
“Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Twenty years ago, when City Impact was created, we were asked why we changed our methodology and target group. My response then is the same today; we are called to serve those who need a doctor. More specifically, those who would not necessarily beckon the doors of the church. City Impact’s goal is to work with those with heart problems. Hearts shattered with disappointment. Hearts broken by pain. Hearts that are wounded by abandonment and neglect. Angry hearts. Lonely hearts. Crying hearts. Hearts that need a touch from Jesus, the Healer of hearts.
Friends, that is the very reason why Jesus came to this earth. He came to be the Healer of hearts, my heart, your heart and their hearts. What an incredible Christmas message – He came as our Savior to save our hearts.
Your sacrificial gift this Christmas will assist City Impact to continue serving those in need of a doctor. Thank you for your love, compassion and financial support of the ministry of City Impact. Merry Christmas and may you have a blessed New Year.
Because of Him,
Betty Alvarez Ham
Betty Alvarez Ham, President