Marie, a member of my church, called to see if I was interested in a field trip to Philadelphia. She had an appointment about four blocks from Bridgeway, Inc. (We served on the Mission Committee of our church and heard a presentation by one of our members explaining how our church's relationship with Bridgeway had begun years ago.)
Our church is one of three churches that provide support for Bridgeway, which is located in the middle of the Tioga neighborhood in Philadelphia, and seeks to build community and strengthen the lives of its members and neighbors.
I tried to look up Bridgeway online and discovered they don't have a website, yet a documentary is in the process of being made by Scribe Video Center.
Marie and I visited with Emily who lives on the premises. She spoke of how she began this ministry and we met three men who stopped in while we were there. Emily asked about our interest in Bridgeway and we explained that we were wondering how to develop a more "hands-on relationship" with her ministry. While financial assistance is needed (and appreciated), we were wondering how we could "contribute" further.
She handed me the following write-up:
"Advice or Personal Help from Bridgeway - Though an often under-valued function at Bridgeway; it represents one of its most valuable services. From day-to-day this is the most taxing activity where a dozen and a half people, not including a similar number of those that simply just call, may come seeking advice for critical decisions they may be facing. Spiritual, relational, and economic advisory sessions encompass topics of social action, self-action, and self-realization. Bridgeway addresses daily giving much needed insight and alternatives to people who may be too distressed to see and discern for self."
So Emily's suggestion was that we could be helpful in teaching life skills.
I have to tell you that when Marie and I left, my mind was spinning. I was able to tell my family about the visit. Yet it's taken me four weeks to organize my thoughts, to write this "short" post, and I'm still wondering what action to take given the information I've received. I've also come to realize that the Tioga section of Philadelphia is a high crime area and admit that I am afraid.
Hand-written on a poster on the wall at Bridgeway said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
Please pray for me, that with God's guidance I can discern what to do with this opportunity and thank you.