Faith-based non­profit seeks to make a dif­fer­ence in com­mu­ni­ties

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian Binga­man

Four area women de­cided that some­thing had to be done.

Cit­ing the Penn­syl­va­nia Uni­form Crime Sup­port­ing Sys­tem, they found in 2010 there were 710 vi­o­lent crimes in Bucks County and 1,585 in Mont­gomery County — in­clud­ing murder, rape, rob­bery and ag­gra­vated as­sault.

Kelly Wil­w­ert, Pat Martin­dell, Lani Ki­men­hour and Patty Ken­dall, all mem­bers of Im­manuel Leidy’s Church in Fran­co­nia Town­ship, and Sandy Lanes, of Doylestown Men­non­ite Church, KDYH ODUNFKHG WKH NRNSUR­fiW RUJDniza­tion God’s House of Prom­ise to unite and trans­form com­mu­ni­ties for the bet­ter.

:LWK RI­fiFHV DW WKH VPDOO VWRNH build­ing near JBS at 119 Al­len­town Road, Fran­co­nia, God’s House of Prom­ise is oper­at­ing un­der the um­brella of the Bucks-Mont Coali­tion for Evan­ge­lism.

The name is a ref­er­ence to a Bi­ble verse from 2 Chron­i­cles: “If my peo­ple, who are called by my name, will hum­ble them­selves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked way, then I will hear from heaven and will for­give their sin and heal their land.”

Wil­w­ert, a Hill­town res­i­dent, out­lined three on­go­ing goals.

Phase one is to bridge the di­vi­sions be­tween Chris­tian de­nomi- nations and fo­cus on what the churches in Bucks and Mont­gomery coun­ties have in com­mon.

“There’s a lot of believ­ers out there who want to break down the walls. We just want to come to­gether for the pur­pose of glo­ri­fy­ing God,” she said.

Phase two the GHOP web­site, www.god­shouse­of­, de­scribes as “a strate­gic plan of trans­form­ing the community.” A time of monthly community wor­ship and prayer is in the works for the GHOP space. Any­one is wel­come to adopt a street on their block in prayer, sign up for read­ing aloud from the Bi­ble for 15 min­utes weekly or monthly or vol­un­teer­ing to help the min­istry in other ways by email­ing god­shouse­of­ or vis­it­ing the web­site. Train­ing is avail­able.

“There is power in prayer. Prayer can change things,” Wil­w­ert said. Re­gard­less of race, so­cial sta­tus or po­lit­i­cal per­sua­sion, “we don’t want to curse, we want to bless. No more speak­ing neg­a­tively and grum­bling and com­plain­ing,” she said.

As God’s House of Prom­ise con­tin­ues to read from the Bi­ble — the goal is to have enough peo­ple read­ing aloud on lo­ca­tion con­tin­u­ally from morn­ing to night seven days a week for a year — and as Wil­w­ert put it, “cov­er­ing the streets of Bucks and Mont­gomery coun­ties in prayer,” the third phase is to move out into the community to take on re­la­tional, mo­ti­va­tional, ma­te­rial and spir­i­tual poverty.

The ques­tion that busi­ness and community peo­ple should be asked is “how can we bless you to­day?” Wil­w­ert said.

Bucks-Mont Coali­tion for Evan­ge­lism Chair­man John Nieder­haus, who is also pas­tor of Im­manuel Leidy’s Church, called GHOP “a good vi­sion,” and said the BMCE is happy to of­fer en­cour­age­ment DNG RYHUVHH WKH RUJDNLZDWLRN’V fi­nances.

“We think the word of God is foun­da­tional for life and how we ought to con­duct our­selves,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 215723-2575.

Mer­lin Grieser helps his grand­sons, Alex and Aaron, pull their wagon full of do­na­tions for Key­stone Op­por­tu­ni­ties Cen­ter dur­ing the CROP Walk.

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