I have a rather unusual 10-15 year goal: my hope is that in 10-15 years I will get to “fire myself.” After that point I will no longer work for HCM. I will find another job at another organization, and I will serve the Lord there.
And here’s why this is my goal…
HCM is a “leadership incubator,” if you will. When HCM is doing what it’s supposed to do, Hartford youth are becoming brave, hard-working, God-fearing leaders.
And at some point, 10-15 years down the road… the time will come when one of the students who we tutored through grade school, mentored through high school, sent off to college, supported through grad school, and then hired onto our staff… one such student will be ready to lead this organization. And then I will step down. And they will step up.
That is my dream.
When HCM is finally led by someone who grew up in Hartford, went to school here, faced and overcame the challenges here, looks, walks, and talks like they’re from here… this will mark both the completion of an important piece of our vision, and the beginning of a new era for HCM.
I think about that day — when I will step down, and another will step up. I dream about that day, and plan for it, and pray for it. And as I work towards it, I want to ask you… would you consider helping me accomplish this 10-15 year goal of mine?
Every dollar you invest into HCM is an investment in the next generation of Christian leaders in Hartford. And every dollar hastens the coming of that beautiful day, when God will call the next director of HCM to step up and lead this organization, and will call me and Danielle to take our next step in our walk with Him.
Help us hasten that day. You can do so by giving here: https://www.hartfordcitymission.org/donate.html.
And prepare for the huge party we’re gonna throw when that day comes.
May His Kingdom come,
There are two stories told about Harford. Here’s the first one:
Violent crime. Extreme poverty. Spiritual desolation.
You’ve heard it before — the dark story told about Hartford. A story that casts Hartford as a violent social wasteland… where, if you step foot on the sidewalks there, you’re in imminent danger of getting shot.
In this story, the villains are the gun-wielding predators who lurk around the city, waiting to pounce on their next victim. And there is little hope for Hartford. Its problems are so vast. Its future bleak. In this story, God seems to have forgotten, orforsaken Hartford.
That’s Hartford’s story from an earthly, human perspective. But what about Hartford’s story from God’s perspective? Obviously I can only speculate here… but here’s my best guess at it:
In this other story, Hartford is not a wasteland. It has many riches; it is rich in history. Rich in heritage. Rich in hope, purpose, and brave and beautiful humans who are dearly loved by God.
In this other story, the “bad guys” are not drug dealers or gunmen; they are the dark spiritual and economic forces — the “powers and principalities” as Paul puts it — which strive to oppress the city with spiritual and economic bondage.
And in this other story, God has not forsaken Hartford; He is here, He is on the move, and He has unimaginably wonderful plans for the city.
So which story do you believe in?
It matters what story you tell about a city. The stories we tell have a kind of prophetic power built into them — to shape and influence the people and places that they’re about. And at HCM, we’re on a mission to retell Hartford’s story. We do this in our programs, in our meetings with teachers and principles, and in our interactions with churches in the greater Hartford area.
So when you give to HCM, you’re not just buying pencils and paper for our afterschool programs; you’re helping to establish a new story about our beloved city. One which causes people to reconsider the nature of our city. One which is full of hope. One which allows us who live in Hartford to not feel ashamed about where we come from, but to feel proud of our wonderful city.
So as 2019 approaches — would you consider giving to HCM? And helping us retell Hartford’s story? This is a critical work that needs to be done, and we need all the help we can get in this mission to change the dominant story about Hartford.
If you’d like to help us, you can support our work today. Change the story that’s told about a place, and you change what that place can become. This is why we deeply care about retelling Hartford’s story.
May His Kingdom come,
You may have heard my friend, Latroya, share her story before or it may be new to you. She is one of those parents, we wrote about last week. Her story is a story of hope and family, right here in our neighborhood.
Latroya and her best friend Britney attended HCM's original program, Noah Sidewalk Sonday School, and it had such an impact on their lives that when they heard 3 years ago that "Noah" was still going on, they knew that they had to get involved again.
The part in her testimony that stuck out to me when I read it again recently was, "The memories of the loving volunteers and staff, memories of the fun we had had, but mostly the memory of how I came to know Jesus. How my eyes and heart was opened to my Savior. I needed my children to experience this. I wanted them to be a part of something so great. A place where they would be able to grow spiritually in a fun, exciting environment. In three years of them attending HCM, that is exactly what my children have received.
Want to read the full testimony? Click here.
Both Latroya and Britney, believe in God's work through HCM and are committed to volunteering at the after school program, encouraging other parents at Parent Empowerment meetings and are beloved friends and supporters of many of our staff.
My challenge to you today, echoes the last few words of Latroya's testimony, "I am hoping 20 years from now that it (HCM) is still available to the children in the Hartford community." It is with your faithful support, that we have come this far! Will you consider making a gift today or a monthly contribution to help ensure HCM's continued presence in the community?
Thank you again for all that you already do. Our work in North Hartford wouldn’t be possible without you.
May His kingdom come,
If you’d like to make a donation you can give online immediately! If you would like to make a donation by check, please make it payable to Hartford City Mission.
Our mailing address is:
Hartford City Mission
P.O. Box 320397
Hartford, CT 06132-0397
When a mother or father living in Hartford has a child, they have the same hopes and dreams for that child as any other parent anywhere.
They want their child to be happy. To be healthy. To go to a good school, make good friends, go to a good college, and get a good job. He or she dreams of their child having a joyful and fulfilling life, just like any other parent. After all, it’s their child; and they love them.
If you’re a parent raising a child in Hartford, you face a host of challenges that many mothers and fathers don’t face: full-service grocery stores (i.e. access to good food at a fair price) are nearly non-existent. Securing a decent education for your child is a struggle. Entry-level jobs for high schoolers looking to enter the workforce are scarce.
These challenges among others greatly compound the difficulty of offering your child the life that you want them to have. And so tragically, many Hartford parents (and grandparents and aunts and uncles) simply aren’t able to give their children the lives they want to.
That’s the current reality of our city.
But I believe that God has different plans for our city.
I believe that God is right there alongside Hartford mothers and fathers… dreaming with them, and working with them against all the obstacles, to secure better lives for their children. I believe that God has plans to change things in our city. And our work at HCM focuses on partnering with Him to enact this change.
For years we’ve been quietly working with Hartford families… towards a different city. And if you’d like to help us further this work, then I’d like to invite you to support us by giving financially to HCM:
And sure, I could talk your ears off, telling you about all the programs, initiatives, and ways in which I see HCM enacting change in the city. But that’s not why I’m writing this email.
I’m writing to remind you of the point of it all. At the end of the day, it all comes back to that first dream that a parent living in Hartford has when their child is born… a dream for that child to have a good, happy, fulfilling life.
We at HCM believe this dream of Hartford families is good, and right, and achievable, in our city… with God’s help. And in 2019, we’re going to be working harder than ever to see that these dreams of Hartford parents come true. Would you consider helping us achieve this?
Thanks for all you do. And Let’s be praying that God does big things in 2019.
May His Kingdom come,
Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the 4th Annual Noah Christmas Store was a HUGE success! Because of you, the store made a difference for families in North Hartford. We were blessed to have so many donors and volunteers working on our store!
One of the parents, who also volunteered at the store shared, "To me it was a really good experience. I was so grateful to be there and see all the families getting their gifts for their love ones. Also I'm very thankful for all the gifts that were donated to the store. The people working there were awesome."
We wanted to let you know just how much of a success the store was this year. See below for some awesome stats:
"I am thankful for learning about God." -Dashon
"Noah After School helped me with my homework and prayer journal and read, write, sing and have fun, and get along with others and be respectful and responsible." - Chanel, Current NAS student
Thank you for making these children's stories possible. YOU are the reason we are able to do this important kingdom work! We appreciate all of your support, encouragement, prayers, and sacrifice.
#HCMThankYou #ThankYou #ourvolunteersrock #bestdonorsever #HappyThanksgiving
"I'm thankful for HCM because it's been an incredibly big influence in my life since middle school and the organization has done a lot for me, so I hope to give back any way I can."
-Alex, current Wyld Life Volunteer, Young Life participant and 2015 Street Leader
"I'm thankful for HCM because it keeps my friends safe."
-Mark, Current Young Life participant, and Street Leader 2014 & 2015
"I'm thankful for HCM because we come here once a week with friends to learn about God and get to talk to great mentors."
-Kedron, Current Young Life participant
"I'm thankful for HCM because without HCM, who knows where I would be."
-Akheem, Current Young Life participant, Street Leader 2014, and previous Noah Sidewalk Sunday School participant
Thank you for making it possible to have a safe space for teenagers to grow and learn about God. These are just four of many teens who are grateful for all you do to provide a program for them! #HCMThankYou #ThankYou #ourvolunteersrock #bestdonorsever #YoungLife