Ministry Support and Validation
Ten years ago I started a church within the housing projects of Flatbush Gardens in Brooklyn, NY. My goal was to be a father to the fatherless, serving through community outreaches and identifying and equipping leaders through the preaching and teaching of the gospel. For ten years I struggled greatly with my calling and ministry. I was on the verge of giving up and walking away from ministry when I heard about World Impact through my friend Curtis Flemming. He connected me with Bob Engel, who serves in my area. I poured out my heart out to Bob over breakfast in Manhattan one morning and shared God’s vision for my community.
I have had support over the years, but this was the first time that someone said to me, “This is exactly what we are looking for.” I met with countless others—who were incredible people—over my decade of ministry, hoping to have sustainable partnership that would translate into meeting the needs of the wonderful people of my Flatbush community, but this time it was different. It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about what World Impact means to my community and me. I am forever grateful and overwhelmed with joy and hope. I received financial support, but even greater was his strong belief in the vision for my community. I finally felt truly validated in my ministry and mission.
My community was one of the worst places to live in Brooklyn. But within the ten years of ministry presence there, crimes like murder, homicide, suicide and rape and occurrences of witchcraft, voodoo and animal sacrifices have decreased drastically. The most noticeable decline is in the summer—often our evangelistic outreaches are credited with this change. We have seen the un-churched, the homeless, drug dealers, demon-possessed, prostitutes, gang members and countless others give their lives to Christ. Our outreaches have also contributed to improved relations between police and community.
I have broken up fights with girls that had knives, gangs with guns and buried young men to gang violence. As one who has been delivered from homelessness and attempted suicide from the streets of New York, I am ever more persuaded that with the partnership of World Impact we can greatly affect lives to be changed for the better, bring about greater hope to the families, and transform our communities like never before.
Rev. Desmond Wedderburn is the Senior Pastor at Calvary Crosses Church in Brooklyn, NY. Desmond and other World Impact Associates are featured in this month's Bulletin.