For a long time I’ve been praying about how Tracy Hibsman Studio should give back some of what God has blessed me with. While there are lots of worthy causes, none prompted God’s calling like Central Detroit Christian Community Development and the work of Nate and Lissy Gangwer in particular.
The city of Detroit was in the news for quite a while. We saw urban decay, brokenness, and crushing poverty. Then, what looked like a light at the end of the tunnel. Businesses started investing in the city, bringing jobs and urban renewal. People felt really good about the future of the city and the news cycle moved on to other things. But. As happens so many times with inner cities, renewal becomes popular. Let’s face it, it’s cool to be part of an up-and-coming area. Property values increase and the impoverished are squeezed into ‘the donut’. That part of the city that is still in decay, full of brokenness, and crushing poverty. It’s that part of the city people drive through on their way to work, home, and the trendy restaurants; the forgotten part that’s absent from the news cycle.
This is the part of the city in which Nate and Lissy live and work. Every day they and their co-laborers at Central Detroit Christian work to bring hope and healing to the forgotten part of Detroit. It’s the kind of work that the community really needs to break the cycles of brokenness and poverty. They do this through:
- Education: If you can read this, you’re a lot better off than many children served by CDC. Education, and reading in particular, is part of the foundation to success in life and spiritual development. CDC provides education to people of all ages. Bible studies and discipling are also provided.
- Employment: Work is something that imparts dignity to life. CDC provides employment readiness training to teens and adults as well as employment through it’s neighborhood small businesses.
- Empowerment: Empowered people have confidence in today and hope for tomorrow. It’s really hard to have confidence and hope without work and a place to live. CDC works to restore hope and build confidence through employment, housing, and community equity. The result is shalom.
I saw some of the brokenness when I was young. I went to school with kids who were 3rd and 4th generation welfare recipients. Although presented with the same opportunities, they didn’t take advantage of them. These children expected to be on welfare too, just like some expected to work at dad’s plant or others expected to go on to higher education. CDC works to break the expectation of a life on public assistance; one that can be low on the dignity scale.
So, yeah, this resonates with my soul.
In his Nobel Lecture, The Quest for Peace and Justice, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for "the least of these". I see this compassion in Nate and Lissy, and in CDC. While I don’t have vast resources, I can give back from what has been provided to me. I’ll be giving 10% of sales to support Nate and Lissy’s work in Detroit. They labor for ‘the least of these’ and embody the quest for peace and justice.
You can learn more about Central Detroit Christian here.Do you need inspired, organic, meaningful jewelry for someone special? Shop my work here. You’ll be supporting a great cause.