The blank looks and the silence in the room was my first indication that we were in the right place. The question was asked, "what are your dreams in life" and the silence was deafening. One of the older boys stepped up and said, "to get a job and pay the bills." I'll never forget the first night of our Youth Bible Study in North Oxnard at that apartment complex. I can never put that visceral silence of "youth without dreams" away from my thoughts as we endeavor to reach out to a community that needs the light of the Gospel.
It started with a group of 13 young people hanging out at our BBQ and now we're seeing a group form that is hungry for something real in their lives. We're in need of a church van to transport the group to our Sunday gatherings, to community outings, to events, and also to provide others with a ride who do not have transportation. In the near future we will begin a program called "LIFE - Life in Focus Education" that teaches life skills, gang intervention, drug/alcohol rehab, parenting, anger management, etc. We want to be able to offer transportation to these classes as well.
When I read the headlines on KVTA's Facebook page this morning about a homicide in a public park in Oxnard (less than one mile from the apartment complex we have our group at) my heart hurt but I also felt a glimmer of hope for the future. Knowing that we're shining light into the darkness is the solace we have when facing the daunting task of reaching an area where this kind of tragedy is the norm.
A safe, reliable, used 15 passenger van will cost between $20-30,000 if we were to purchase from a dealer. We have a contact who is a wholesale broker and can get us a $20-30k van at roughly $15k and is agreeing to do so at no charge to our church.
Christmas is a tough time on the pocketbooks of most people but it is also a time when miracles happen and when great causes see great support. We realize that this idea represents more than a van, it represents hope for a community, it represents future leaders...it represents DREAMS in hearts of children who have NO DREAMS. Would you partner with us today? We appreciate your prayers and support! -Pastor Scott
P.S. We have room for several business/corporate sponsors to have their company logo on the back of our van. Do good and advertise all around Ventura, Oxnard, etc.!