Let’s Change the Headlines

If you read our local newspaper, Star Ledger, in December you would have seen some depressing headlines about our city. One entitled “Homicide Hotspot” listed that Newark has the third highest homicide rate in the country, preceded only by Detroit and New Orleans. Another article “Surviving the Streets” provided statistics like Newark had 112 murders in 2013, the highest in 24 years. It also reported that 35 teens were murdered in the last five years including twelve since October 2013. Three of the 35 were kids that we knew and who came to our youth programs.

The really sad part is that many of these children, teens, and adults were not believers in Jesus and they are lost for eternity. This should and does inspire us to work harder on our mission to reach the lost for Christ. Every week we reach out to our community through Bible clubs, schools, church, and special outreaches. We have staff members who are training leaders through TUMI (The Urban Ministry Institute), some are teaching evangelism training, others are teaching biblical ethics at our Newark Christian School. Still others are managing our thrift store or serving as church plant and SIAFU small group leaders.

These efforts and many more like them are happening all over our country. World Impact has missionary staff in three major hubs across our nation: Los Angeles, Wichita, and here in Newark. We work in partnership with ministries like Prison Fellowship and Joni & Friends to bring the light of Jesus to a dark and hurting world.

You can help by praying for us as we are on the front lines of the battle; a battle that can and will be won for the cause of Christ. If you live in or near one of our cities, there is much you can do! Offer yourself as a volunteer in one of our youth programs or collect donated clothes or household items for our one of thrift stores. We want to see urban communities across America transformed by the power and love of Christ!

Steve and Ruth Hoernig are missionaries at World Impact Newark.