By Wendy McCaig, Executive Director
When we asked her “What surprised you this week?” Dominique said thoughtfully, “That so many people care about my neighborhood.”
After just four interviews with residents in her Lincoln Mews apartment complex, Dominique is starting to catch a glimpse of how this simple process of listening to her fellow residents could lead to community change.
Each week our Embrace team meets individually with our seven Dream Catchers teams and they report out what they are learning through their interviews. As I have listened to the hidden hopes and dreams of these neighborhoods being revealed by these young people, I have been overwhelmed by the depth and insights our young dream catchers are bringing into their observations.
The most moving story last week was shared by Joseph. Like Dominque, Joseph was able to name a pattern that was emerging in his interviews. He had several residents express the desire to care for the elderly in the community.
He then told us about a senior adult he met while interviewing. She had 22 grandchildren, several of whom were at risk of being removed from the home due to inadequate housing. This concerned grandmother had been giving a significant portion of her fixed income to support her family. As a result, her home had fallen into disrepair.
Joseph said, “It is just sad that she does so much for others but no one is helping her.”
Joseph was impressed by the stories he heard from the senior adults in his community. “One lady raised 40 foster children,” he said. “ I can’t even imagine that. I am just one kid and I am a handful!”
Dominique and Joseph are part of our Northisde Dream Catchers team. They are just two of the more than 20 youth working in seven neighborhoods this summer making the invisible hopes, dreams, and gifts of their community visible.
I hope you will join me in praying for these young people who are using listening as a tool for shaping their community.
What is the strongest shared dream in each community?
How will God weave these hopes and dreams together in a way that leads to lasting change?
How will this project shape these youth and their future vocation?
These are the questions I am asking, and I can’t wait to see the answers revealed as this process unfolds.
I hope you will stay connected and continue to lift them up in prayer.