The Giant Leap Of Faith

The Giant Leap Of Faith
After sixteen years of serving under the umbrella of Teen Challenge of Arizona (1988-1999) and the Phoenix Inner City Church (1999-2004), PICK has been birthed into the community as an autonomous organization. In November 2004, the Phoenix Inner City Church membership voted to gift us with the various assets of PICK. This show of support equipped us to launch out in full pursuit of the dream of establishing a community center (and eventually, a school) for inner city children and families. This move was not spontaneous but is the fruition of a plan set in motion in June of 2001. At that time, PICK applied for and received its own 501(c)(3) non-profit status as a faith based charitable organization. 

For the past six months we have been actively seeking a location in which to establish the new community center. For two and a half years we had sought favor, hoping to purchase the Franklin School, a building that was featured in our January 2003 newsletter. Unfortunately this property was awarded to the Phoenix Union High school district on January 15, 2005 for $10,000.00. Though this award came as a surprise and a disappointment to us, we remain undaunted in our determination to seek the place the Lord has in store for us. We have fixed our eyes on Him 
knowing well that His plans far exceed the limited expectations we sometimes place before Him!

At this time, I’m asking your prayers that the Lord will open doors for us that no man can shut! As you have followed and know our ministry and work in the inner city, I felt I should share a little more with you about the vision we have for PICK’s future. Since its inception, PICK has been an evangelical, prevention and intervention program for inner city boys and girls from the projects of south and central Phoenix. Our Saturday programs, weekly visitations, summer camps, and Christmas programs have been a dynamic and positive influence in the lives of multiple thousands of inner city kids and their families. It is our greatest desire to impact at-risk children and youth in positive and life changing ways. Along with our efforts to introduce and lead them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we long to see each one achieve his/her God given purpose and potential. This was the desire that birthed the vision of a community center. Our plan is to provide after school classes and training in a variety of areas including: dramatic arts, computer graphics, PC repair and maintenance, academic tutoring in math and English, etc., As well as Biblical discipleship. Phase two of the vision will be to establish a Christian school for inner city children where quality education will be provided in a Godly atmosphere of love and acceptance.

This is the vision that compelled us to leave our comfortable covering of the Phoenix Inner City Church! Although we enjoyed favor and longevity in a familiar environment at PICC, it was notwithout challenges and compromise to PICK’s growth and expansion. The PICC building currently 
houses three full size churches. As you might imagine, the dynamics of this arrangement greatly restricted our outreach in terms of time and space!

On July 29, 2004, I resigned from my position at Phoenix Inner City Church in order to pursue PICK’s vision to the fullest. This decision came about after 16 years of service, which included four years as a volunteer and almost 12 years as a full time pastor. The choice was not simple or easy but was made after soul searching, prayer, and seeking Godly counsel. Obviously we will face enormous obstacles in the quest to accomplish the vision God has laid on our hearts. Yet I am reminded of a young shepherd boy, named David, who courageously faced a giant at a crucial moment in the history of his nation. At that pivotal moment prior to battle, young David turned to an angry brother and asked, “Is there not a cause?”

We too are in a crucial historical time. - A time when the choices we make and the causes we stand for will have tremendous impact on our society and our world. Inner city kids have immeasurable value by virtue of the fact that God loves them and Jesus died for them - as He did for us! There is enough untapped talent, creativity, and potential hidden within our inner cities to dramatically alter any downward slide of our nation... But this potential will not emerge unless we invest in it! In recent days, inner city Phoenix is astir with a flurry of construction, renovation, and restoration. If only someone would realize that these kids and families are the treasure that is most worthy of our time, energy, and resources!

Though there are giants of doom and gloom and negativity and myriads of nay-sayers and doubters who don’t think one can make a difference anymore, we will continue to believe God and impact our society for good. Let it be known to all that our commitment to the cause is unwavering! Our love for the inner city and her children will remain constant and enduring. By virtue of the generosity, support, and prayer you have covered us with over the years, we sense that your concerns are similar to ours. Being a good steward of your resources, you have invested wisely in the future of inner city families. - And we are ever grateful for your faith in our ability to impact those families for good! 

My personal commitment to PICK is my transition from being a full time, paid staff to assuming a volunteer status. This commitment will remain as long as is necessary. Through this correspondence I am asking you to go an extra mile as well in your commitment to the cause. I’m asking you to demonstrate your faith in our work and vision in two ways as follows:

-You recently received a mailing announcing our first annual “One Life At A Time” fund raising banquet being held at North Phoenix Baptist Church on Tuesday, March 15th. The purpose of the banquet is to raise funds in order to lease or purchase a facility to house the community center. My earnest request is that you would honor us by your attendance at this banquet! (Banquet information is also posted on our web site:
-Your continued financial support is an integral key to the successful completion of the vision we have set before you and to our ability to remain a viable, positive force in the community. It is our fervent prayer that you have heard the heart cry that has reached you through this letter, and that you will respond with the same vote of confidence you placed in us in the past by continuing to invest in our future.

Thank you for your time in reading this letter and for your prayerful consideration of our requests! May the Lord continue to bless you as you have blessed others!

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