Light Has Overcome the Darkness
What does it look like when the things we labor and contend for are delivered in a moment? We’ve all invested countless hours of our lives praying and singing over our cities - some of it with passion, some of it in faithfulness, some of it wondering if we’re making a difference at all. It’s the plight of a life of trust that God desires to work with us in expanding His kingdom in the earth. We wonder, we toil, we fall, we get back up, but we always press on towards the goal, for it is to that end that we have sacrificed all that we have - to make His name known in our cities, regions and nations of the earth.
This summer, we witnessed a miraculous unfolding of answers to prayer and worship that has been accumulating for decades in Harrisburg, PA take place in our precious little ghetto. Many of you have heard about Allison Hill over the past few years. You’ve heard how dangerous, how poor, how neglected, how dark it is, but this summer began the revealing of a new narrative - one that emerges in stark contrast to that being perpetuated in the media regarding the ongoings in the inner cities of America.
Over the course of the summer, our neighbors were blindsided by those willing to leave the ring of debate and enter the trenches of their dilemma by offering them a chance to have hope again for the future - this is the power of the Gospel. There were young and old alike, stooping to ground to pick up trash, sweeping the filth from the sidewalks, reclaiming overgrown vacant lots so children could play - literally, turning the ghetto into a garden! An army of several hundred volunteers from all over the nation collaborated to combat the daily experience of hopelessness, despair and poverty that torments our neighbors. Worship and thanksgiving filled the air in the each evening as we celebrated our progress and lifted our hopes for more - each moment giving us the energy and strength to dive in again the next day.
The passion for change burned so hotly that people were compelled to participate, even garnering the attention of our city’s Public Works department which empowered us to remove 100,000+ of garbage from a 4-block radius. Neighbors living in poverty were cashing in their food stamps to provide water and snacks for the volunteers. Others were running back and forth to gas stations to purchase fuel for our equipment. Still, several others served as a personal cheerleading team throughout the project, emulating the shift of hope taking place.
When we began this project, our ears were ringing with mockery, insults and ridicule about what could be accomplished. By the end, those same people were embracing us, weeping in bewilderment, exclaiming they’ve never seen the neighborhood look like this before! You guys… this is why we pray! This is why we worship! Not so we can put another notch on our belts, but that when we become those prayers, we carry with us the authority, favor, and influence of Heaven to dismantle the lies and schemes of the Enemy. The authority we gain in the place of prayer is not so we can flex our muscles for show, but that the strength we gain empowers us to forcefully advance the Kingdom of Light into the dark places.
I believe that we, as a movement, are moving into a season where God is beckoning us to dream with Him for legitimate city transformation, as He describes in Isaiah 61. That we would be delivered from our “lingo” and promoted into the authority of those prayers. Since this summer, I have found myself seated at the table with several leaders, visionaries and city officials time and time again simply because we took action on the the vision God has given us for Harrisburg. The time is coming where our burning before the Lord will be a focused contending for wisdom on how to disciple our cities and nations because the Lord has indeed established His throne in our midst. We must prepare ourselves for this great shift! We must ask God to release to us the wisdom of His ways and thoughts that create a platform for transforming enter cities! I promise you, He wants more than just for people to have a sense of His presence; He desires that we can TASTE AND SEE that He is good!
I want to joyfully invite you to come to Allison Hill! Dream, get inspired, cry out and ask God to have such unshakeable faith and hope that you fall asleep dreaming of long-established principalities bowing their knees to the King of kings and wake up with a fiery zeal to see His kingdom overthrow every scheme of darkness that keeps your city from walking in her destiny. We are living in an incredible hour, and the groans of creation are only getting louder as they increase in their longing for our revealing! Get out there and LOVE YOUR CITY INTO HER DESTINY!!
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