Campus Crusade for Christ announced yesterday a new addition to its outreach family in combating poverty in America. As the nation recovers from the strains of recent hurricanes, CCC's Here's Life Inner City expanded its poverty fighting "arsenal" by merging with New Focus.
Utilizing tools that empower churches to help the poor break out of situational poverty at a long-term level, Here's Life Inner City and the 10-year-old faith-based organization will be equipping churches across the nation to bring hope to America's poor.
"With New Focus, we can now equip churches to teach those families life skills, biblical money management, and ultimately help build stability into their lives," Ted Gandy, national director of Here's Life Inner City, said in a released statement.
With a shared vision and heart for the poverty-stricken families, the mergence of the two ministries began with a prayer two years ago.
As a 63-year-old, New Focus Founder Jenny Forner "wanted the organization to live on beyond [herself]."
"Two years ago, we started praying that God would bring us a larger organization that had the same vision and that we would become a part of that organization," said Forner to The Christian Post on Thursday.
Prayers were answered on Sept. 1 when CCC and New Focus decided to join forces - which became effective on Nov. 1.
Addressing the needs of the hurricane victims beyond immediate assistance, the joint ministries are offering financial classes and mentoring - tools that help the poor build relationships and break generational poverty.
Forner explained that their outreach efforts are like putting "a cast on what's broken rather than a band aid because most of the time, a check isn't going to solve the problem."
Running with the vision that God gave 10 years ago to see the church of Jesus Christ open to people with needs as fast food restaurants are for people who are hungry Forner aims to offer more than money.
"I can't give you money, but I can give you real help," she said.
Churches are equipped with such tools as a manual entitled Giving Hope and Help that help aid workers and volunteers to "walk alongside families who have experienced the hurricanes."
"Church really becomes the hospital to really look at the cause of their poverty and ... correct the root of it so they can be successful," commented Forner.
Here's Life Inner City has grown to 18 cities and New Focus has worked with churches in 19 states before the official merging took place. Now acting as one body, the ministries are looking to serve as the four men who carried a paralytic man to Jesus, as found in Luke 5, and help the healed man become a mat carrier for others, said Forner.
"What it really boils down to is what Jesus did," she said. Explaining that Jesus impacted the world one person at a time, as each person testified to others, New Focus and Here's Life Inner City plans to transform generations through one-time contacts.
As the two ministries break cyclical poverty on a larger and more effective scale, Forner commented, "I am so encouraged to see just how the church of Jesus Christ is doing what Christ commanded us to do - to love our neighbor."