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Agape Development Needs Allies!

By Bethel Church in Bethel Church of Houston about 1 year ago | 625 views Link:

Serve with Agape Development in the New Year!

Agape Development is a Bethel-supported ministry seeking to transform their neighborhood by preparing Christ-following, independent, community leaders. Through various programs for kids through adults, they are seeing this transformation daily. 

One of these programs is called Getting Ahead and it runs from August to December each year. When neighbors graduate from this class they make goals to conquer their poverty, but oftentimes they need encouragement to follow through on their goals. The graduates need cheerleaders to walk alongside them as they take steps to improve their future. Those cheerleaders are called Allies! The Allies program goes from January to March.
While similar to a mentorship program, we hope that the graduates will be mutually beneficial to their ally. The graduates have much to teach about their neighborhood and what they learned about economic classes. The commitment required is to meet weekly with their partner for three months. The hope is that these relationships become close, life-long friendships, which foster more stable lives for everyone involved. Would you like to be an ally?

Friendships That Last – Testimony from an Ally

When I first heard that Agape Development was starting a Getting Ahead class for adult neighbors, I was thrilled. I knew about the program, which lets people discover on their own the causes of poverty, the things that keep them trapped, and the many types of resources they need to lead stable, independent lives. I was doubly thrilled when I heard about Allies, a follow-up program that pairs graduates of Getting Ahead with people like me, fostering deep relationships so we can talk frankly about goals and accountability.
But I have to admit I went to my first Allies meeting with a bit of a social-worker mentality… I was going to help them. How little did I realize then the many blessings that were getting ready to head my way!
After weeks of cheesy ice-breaker games that really worked, our weekly time together became true Christian fellowship. After a fun scavenger hunt in the Third Ward, we had all bonded. Then, we were paired off, each graduate with his/her own ally. That’s when Elise* became a very important person in my life.
From any demographic measure, Elise and I are poles apart: race, age, economic bracket, you name it. But she and I immediately recognized how much alike we are. We laugh at the same things, care about the same things, even like to eat many of the same foods. We’ve worked hard on some of her financial goals, and I had a ball helping her plan her beautiful wedding at Agape’s community garden. When my son had surgery, Elise was the first friend to text me to check up on him. She helped me rescue a dog a while ago, and tomorrow I’m taking a dog to her family! I treasure our time together, especially our lunches – the best of which was in Elise’s backyard on a glorious fall day.
I asked Elise what she thought about Allies, and here is her response:
“Allies was one of the best things that has ever happened to me in my life. It taught me the value of friendship from all types of ages and backgrounds. Allies brought some beautiful people into my life and I will forever cherish them."
As Kirk Craig wrote not long ago: “If you have never developed an honest and close relationship with someone of another race or in a completely different socio-economic group from your own, I encourage you to seek out that experience. We will live forever in the kingdom of heaven with every tribe, tongue and nation. The richness of that experience can be tasted now in Christian fellowship.”

The Allies program will begin January 2018.
Email for more information.

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Bethel Church of Houston

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