A few local churches in Spring, Texas, have banded together to help a small impoverished neighborhood in the city.
New Life Christian Reformed Church has partnered with four other churches to form the Old Town Spring Heights Task Force, and together they are making a difference.
The task force focuses on empowering residents of Old Town Spring Heights, a community once reputed for being a center for drug trade and high levels of crime.
Members of the Old Town Spring Heights Task Force at work together.
Members from the supporting churches gather donations of household supplies and meet once a month to sort and distribute the items to residents who can use them. The group also takes time to visit and pray with these neighbors.
The task force meets regularly with residents to ask for their help in identifying the needs of the community. “They feel like they’re being listened to,” said Rev. Andy Sytsma, pastor of New Life. “They didn’t want to be identified as ‘the neighborhood just north of the tracks,’ so we provided them with a neighborhood sign.”
The task force has also helped with a number of other projects, including home repairs and working with the county and the local electricity provider to supply the neighborhood with street lights.
Together the group has used Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) training, provided by the Communities First Association, to help solidify that this is not just a ministry based on need.
“It’s about being in community to reach the community,” said Sytsma.
Barbara Linton, pastor of Church of the Living God, located within Old Town Spring Heights, recognizes the difference the task force has made. “Our Christian family has worked faithfully with us in our community, and we can truly say there has been a change,” she said.