A team of eight left for Chicago Saturday morning and returned a week later. The team wants you to know what we did in the Roseland neighborhood on the south side of Chicago.

The men on the team tackled drywall installation in the basement of Sam Johnson’s home. Sam plans to put two bedrooms in the basement for people needing a place to stay. Sam left the Tulsa area five years ago with his wife and children to be a church planter in Roseland. He coaches youth basketball, works as a youth pastor at a local Vietnamese church, assists his neighbors, leads weekly Bible study, tends the community garden, and started a house flipping operation to employ (and teach) young men.

The women on the team met Ms. Pearl and saw the “Good News Community Peace Garden” and “Good News Day Care Center”. The garden grows vegetables donated to the neighborhood; scriptures line the fence of the garden. The day care provides low-cost/free day care to mothers who are re-building their lives by going to school or working. Inside the day care is a large wooden cross covered with children’s tiny hand prints. Ms. Pearl requires the mothers attend weekly Bible study as a condition to having their children in an environment filled with the good news of Jesus.

The women on the team helped Sam build a raised paver planter in an elderly neighbor’s front yard. They weeded vegetable beds in the community garden and planted flowers along the fence. On Friday the women took care of toddlers at the day care while the older children went on a field trip.

Sam and Ms. Pearl thank the members of First Baptist Lawton for their donations of clothing, toys, and diapers. Sam is a NAMB partner church planter. Donations to Sam Johnson can be made through the NAMB website.

Everything – whether it’s providing vegetables, giving moms affordable day care and Bible study, or teaching a trade to young men – it’s all about the mission to reach people with the good news of Jesus.

Mary Swafford
OCC Organizer

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