Westown, My Kind of Town!
July 28, 2015
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:23-24
The Other Way Ministries intentionally focuses on a particular place. We affectionately call it Westown. We believe this side of Grand Rapids is special and the people are unique…sometimes they are very unique. We have great affection for this place. It isn’t downtown, it isn’t Eastown, it’s Westown. There is a wonderful mix of age, race and income. People feel a sense of neighborhood pride and lots of people feel they belong here. It’s my kind of town, the kind of place where I want to live and raise my kids.
We believe we can be most effective in ministry if we focus on a particular geography. It keeps us from being spread too thin and helps to honor the unique history of Westown. We can work to ensure it remains a place where all types of people can thrive. Our staff works hard to stay in touch with the community and as our neighborhood continues to grow, we wonder how we can best advocate for the most vulnerable in the mix.
In so many ways Grand Rapid is doing incredibly well as a city. However, as Bob Lupton states ‘we cannot rightly take joy in the rebirth of the city if no provision is being made to include the poor’. Christ has called us to this place and given us great love for the people who live here. Over half of the people who live in our neighborhood struggle financially. We ask you to join us in praying for Westown…for the particular people who live here. We also ask you to pray for wisdom for how we can best walk with and empower our beloved neighbors as our neighborhood changes.
I am confident if we continue on…being faithful in very specific ways…God will continue to bless our efforts and this place called Westown will always be a place where people can belong and where people can grow into their God given potential.
Thanks for all you do to help us keep this focus. – Kurt Reppart, Executive Director