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How Some Radical Christian Families are Changing Their Communities

Teresa Neumann : Sep 2, 2010 : Steve Beaven - The Oregonian

Police call these young men and women a "godsend."

(Gresham, Oregon)—When two young zealous Christian men, David Knepprath and Josh Guisinger, moved into Barberry Village two years ago, in what is considered Gresham's toughest neighborhood, they had a vision. They wanted to extend the "Church" outside of the traditional four walls and bring Christ to the poor in a tangible, consistent way.

worshiping in GreshamTo date, it's been very successful. So much so, that other complex owners have reportedly asked them to replicate their efforts. (Photo: Benjamin Brink/The Oregonian)

As noted in a report in The Oregonian, roughly a dozen young Christian men and women have made Barberry Village their home with the goal of creating "a sense of community in a chaotic neighborhood overrun with drugs, prostitution and gangs."

According to the report, "police officers are still dispatched to Barberry Village on a regular basis, sometimes more than once a day. But many neighbors say the complex is safer, friendlier and better for children. A former manager called the young men and women a 'godsend.'"

And, the report adds, "Instead of staying holed up in their apartments, neighbors now go outside and get to know one another. They invite each other over for dinner. It's more like a neighborhood than an anonymous apartment complex."

Clearly, being on call 24/7 to the needs of strangers, hosting communal meals, birthday parties and Bible camps for neighbors is not an easy job, nor is it the type of ministry everyone may be called to. It is, however, one that is gaining recognition because of the fruit it is bearing in local communities.

For more information on this outreach, click on the link provided.

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