MIAMI, Fl. The Inner City Church of Miami (ICCM), a congregational branch of the Assemblies of God, reaches out to hundreds of people each month through their outreach events programs. The ICCM proves to be a beacon of light in the chilling Liberty City area- the poorest and oldest housing project in the United States where nearly 30 percent of the population is impoverished.
Every December, nearly 250 people crowd into the ICCM warehouse to partake in the Christmas celebration. They gather over a ham dinner, watch the gospel presentation, and share wrapped gifts.
For most, these are the only Christmas gifts they get," said ICCM Pastor Glenn Lawrence.
Beyond these material gifts, the ICCM offers them the gift of the gospel, introducing them to the love, hope and faith gained through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Davette Keyes, 41, testifies the work of the ICCM. "I had given up going to church," she said, "Then I learned this church really cares."
Keyes, a mother of three, had at first wanted and expected nothing more than a free hot dog when she first attended the ICCM outreach three years ago. However, after her children became involved in the youth choir, Keys became a regular attendant. Soon after, she began reading the bible, and realized that she needed to change her detrimental lifestyle. Now, Keyes outreaches to those in similar situations as what she faced in her past.
Keys said the church enabled her to restructure her finances rather than merely providing her a handout. "I stopped depending on man and started depending on God," she said.
By Pauline J.