How I Became An Urban Missionary

I must say that as a child I never saw myself living the type of life that I now live. I was always smart, so my goal was to get out of the hood…never to come back to live in a ‘hood.

I’m thankful that God’s plan for me was much better than my own.

As an urban missionary, I get to see God’s hand at work each and every day in the lives of the marginalized. I get to serve and partner with the poor, the orphans (the fatherless), the widows (single mothers), and those in prison (Ps 82:3, Isa 58:6-7, James 1:27). In the process, I’m shown how much I need to learn and allow His Spirit to transform me.

When I came to Chicago in 2011 it was just suppose to be a six-month gig. I was planning on temporarily managing a music project of Christian hip hop artist, Kareem Manuel. However, I soon witnessed how the harvest to serve was much greater here than any place I had ever visited growing up in the South.

I could clearly see the results of systematic injustice along with the depravity, hopelessness, and the desperation of many. I also saw how fearlessly other believers were choosing to stay or move to the city and hoods to serve. My life was changed! I HAD to get my hands dirty! I had to be a part of the great work that believers like Brian & Heidi Dye (Legacy Conference), Michael & Karen Trout (YMEN), and CD & Melody Fabien (Love Truth International) were already doing. With that, a temporary music job turned into a commitment to live as an urban missionary in the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago.

Today I function as the founder and director of PEARL, a female mentorship organization in North Lawndale, Chicago.  For the past few years I’ve been blessed to be a neighbor and mentor to over 200 young women in my community. My aim is to be a consistent life partner to each young woman that I serve, and I promise that it’s been a journey. I’ve learned that while I strive to help youth grow in their education, attitude, relationships with God and others, and servant leadership, I’ve been changed more than I ever imagined. I learn from those that I serve and I’m convicted by them as well.

We laugh, cry, study, grow in faith, argue, play sports, eat together, cook together, and so much more. In short, we “do life” together.