Many years ago Jane Addams moved into Hull-House, located in a poor immigrant neighborhood of Chicago. In today’s times, nationwide Christian Community Development Association, and other Associations and leaders, are pushing a concept called “relocation.” Its premise is that the best way to attack inner-city problems in at-risk neighborhoods is to get more people of faith, hope, and courage to move to live among the poor. A number of books have been written on this subject; several are in our local library, here in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Other books are recommended through Christian Community Development Association; go to CCDA.org.
At its core, this concept is about local missions becoming more like foreign missions, where the missionary lives close to the people. It’s all about building relationships, as part of a holistic effort to spread the Good News. Additionally, this effort seeks to better connect local churches to the poor of a community, in ways beyond soup kitchens, homeless shelters, clothes closets and crisis relief centers. We want to see people’s lives stabilized and revitalized prior to the need for the above. This makes sense! All across this land Christians are “relocating.” It’s a different way to fight poverty. It has Peace Corps likings, but it’s all domestic, and it’s all founded on the Way.
Many of the families who move into the inner-city (relocate) are families of faith who have the resources to purchase a house right from the start. Challenge Houses, on the other hand, will offer very low rent to folks who want to live their faith-lives closer to the bottom. A mission-heart is a must! Occupants won’t have to be licensed ministers (may be), but can be of many occupations (or semi-retired or retired). Nehemiah, who rebuilt the wall, was a businessman and contractor. Challenge Houses make it very affordable for people of resource (faith, education, employment, etc.) to take the step!
It is our hope that we will have many Challenge Houses (perhaps all across our country) each one bringing back a run-down house, and taking it from a point of bleakness to the neighborhood, to a point of Light. Challenge Houses will be residential, with individuals, couples, and families living in them. They will be places of hospitality and hope. The occupants will befriend all the kids and adults of the immediate vicinity, and those relationships will create synergism (1+1=3).
We need men and women who might be interested in “relocating” to a Challenge House to contact us so that we can further explain this opportunity, and maybe even arrange tours. If each city which had declining neighborhoods had a network of Challenge Houses to help stabilize the kids and adults, can you imagine the impact! A child moves across town; one Challenge House manager calls across town, and that same child is reconnected to a very close-by positive family living in a different Challenge House. The benefits are unlimited! If you know of individuals who might want to “relocate,” please have them contact me. The rest of you, please pray and help in other ways. We are all in this together. Challenge House is now a community word in Hopkinsville, and it could become the same in your city! Let’s make our prayer line up in accordance with the Lord’s Prayer, “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!” If this Challenge House movement can takes root, it can spread all across our nation. We all know that the ways of the past are not working; we must venture! Be a part of this movement!
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.