The Redemptive Seed
Most people living in a city have noticed the stubborn strength of plants growing out of tiny crevices. I have wondered at
the tenacity of thriving plants sprouting between sidewalks and building foundations, in minuscule fissures between bricks 30 or more feet above grade or in a darkened cellar wall. The obstinate growths withstand back-breaking tugs, mechanical cuttings, and chemical applications.
It is obvious that a wild-growing plant is not planted by an eccentric gardener. The plant begins as a seed, a power-laden germ of life that finds just enough soil and moisture to germinate. Blown by wind, swept by a broom, or accidentally scuffed into a crevice, the seed thrives because it is full of life!
At-risk, urban children often are blown about by violence and broken systems or are carried about on the whims of irresponsible people in their neighborhood. But the redemptive seed is more powerful, has far more potential, and is as persistent as the long-suffering of Jesus. However, the urban child’s soul must be planted and nurtured like fine, quality seeds that germinated in well-planned, deliberated cultivated gardens. Spring Garden Academy was aware of that dynamic truth at its founding, intentionally creating a space in the city to help grow children.
Today, we are thrilled to report that the first child ever enrolled in Spring Garden Academy has received a full scholarship as a student athlete to an excellent university. This is not an accident. Surrounded by an amoral city, she
was intentionally placed into a family, school, and church committed to her growth. Another eighth-grader, nurtured by the school and church family, is entering a top high school in our city and desires to be a missionary. Let’s continue to nurture the children in Philadelphia together.
-Otto & Pat Wegner
With a Heart to Serve in the City
There’s something distinctive about the hearts of individuals who are intentional about serving. In 2015, we had several missions teams come bless our community. And we have witnessed first-hand the pivotal role that missions work continues to have in urban ministries.
Missions teams have shown our youth how to pray, praise, worship, and serve. They have shown children how to use their unique gifts and talents to bring glory to God through service. God has also used these teams to (re-)calibrate the narrow scope in which many youth have come to understand what it means to live for God.
We invite you, your missions team, and/or your church to partner with us for a short-term missions project. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Youth Leadership Center Update
At our partnership weekend, we announced the 2016 launch of the Youth Leadership Center. Our dream is to open the doors of Resurrection Life Church in North Philadelphia to 7th-12th grade youth for afternoon and evening hours all year long, to strategically invest in city youth.
The Youth Leadership Center will provide a range of opportunities for youth to participate in enrichment, physical and healthy living, and discipleship and mentoring activities.
This center allows us to continue to build on the connection we have with the youth in our community beyond the summer and church services. We are incredibly proud to say that we have officially launched the Youth Leadership Center with the start of this new year. We now offer youth life skills through Indoor Soccer, Chess, and Girls on the Run. Later this year we are looking to open a computer lab and transform our gym into a recreational center. Thank you for your investment in our youth.