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As part of our desire to learn more and to have a broader impact in Frankford, we have been attending various community meetings over the last year.  We began to hear similar concerns over and over again from the people in these meetings.  Drug use and the culture of crime and violence that it produces is very prevalent in our streets and the people in the community meetings we were attending were concerned and scared. (I try not to be overly dramatic about things like this, but just to give you an idea, Frankford has already seen 8 murders in 2016 – the concerns of the residences are not just perceived fears; they are very real issues).  In our desire to reach out to the neighborhood by helping to meet their felt needs, we began to think about what our little start of a church plant could do to help the residents of Frankford with slowing down crime and violence in our neighborhood.  As we were looking for opportunities for what we could do, a new community organization was forming in Frankford that we were able to be a part of at the beginning.  The new group was set up as a way for different groups with different initiatives to come together to share ideas and resources in order to help improve Frankford.  The group calls themselves “Frankford Forward”.  It is a group of about 50 residents (although it’s typically around 20 at any given meeting) that have since split up into various committees to help move Frankford Forward.  So, there is a committee to organize clean up days, another committee to reach out to the schools in our neighborhood, another committee of religious leaders, and committees for people coming out of prisons and reaching out to young people.  We have gotten involved with a committee of Frankford Forward  that is called the “Eyes and Ears” program.  Essentially it is a town watch type group, except with no patrolling or vests or things like that.  The idea is that members are the “eyes and ears” of their blocks – always looking out for things that are going on and learning how to report them in the most effective and safe way.  It’s a simple, practical way to empower people to make a difference in slowing down the crime and violence that plagues our neighborhood.  So, here is the most exciting part: one of our jobs as a member of this program is recruiting more people to be a part of it.  What this means is that we have been able to go door to door in Frankford and talk to people about the neighborhood and invite them to be a part of the solution.  It is such a neat opportunity to be able to speak face to face with people and be able to have good conversations with them after just meeting them.  Our goal is that these conversations will not just lead to people getting more involved in the community – we want these conversations to lead to Gospel conversations and eventually lead to more disciples of Jesus worshiping God!  Please pray that God would use our efforts in this community organizing to ultimately bring about many conversions.