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What Happened on Churchman Avenue? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jane Mullikin   
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Two blocks of Churchman Avenue in the rougher part of the inner city are now being called an Oasis. We, who work and live here, gaze at our pretty street with nicely manicured lawns and have difficulty recognizing our street since the changes, amazed to realize still more changes are coming. Some of us are receiving praise for creating change: we enjoy hearing the encouraging words, but we know the true source of the change, and we want to shout to the world, "We didn't do anything, but we know who did!"

Our little Oasis is a loving community. It's very friendly and neighbors are eager to help each other. It hasn't been that way long, but it is living proof that even the rough, poverty stricken areas can become good places to live. Just three years ago we had three drug houses, six abandoned houses, a huge population of feral cats, free-roaming dogs, rats and raccoons. We still have the raccoons and one abandoned house.

Change started with prayer. I would take my coffee cup to the front porch mornings and talk with God about peace on my street. As I drank my coffee in the comfort of my home, my spirit cried for the homeless wandering down the street, the children cursing with every breath, the constant police presence. Behind the closed doors of some of the other residences, people were praying and had been praying long before I arrived. We did not know each other--we were not coming together. Peace in our street seemed a most unlikely daydream.

Two years later, when I was beginning to be able to speak with a few of the others, the coordinator for Study Circles offered a circle to our street. I wasn't sure anyone would come and if they did, I was concerned it could turn into a brawl. As the Study Circle convened in my house, I took my place on the porch as the childcare provider; all the while praying with every thing I had that the evening would be peaceful. It was. It ended on a friendly note with the participants chatting amicably as they exited the house under the scrutiny of the concerned residents at the drug house across the street.

By the close of the Study Circle program, the group in attendance was so excited about new relationships that they immediately formed a Block Club named Indianapolis' Churchman Avenue Neighbors--I'CAN! and I'CAN believes in the power of prayer, love of neighbor, uniting in changing the children's environment. Once we came together in friendship, positive events seemed to naturally evolve out of the coming together. I'CAN is our motto, but as we pause to consider, we have to ask ourselves, "Really, what did I do?"

Jane Mullikin
Spirit - Finding Hope in a World of Uncertainty
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1. Written by Vicki Woodyard on 30-06-2008 16:36 - Registered
I can just picture you on your porch, Jane. Thank you for drawing the picture of your part of the universe and how prayer can change your life, as the old book title read.
2. Written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it on 01-07-2008 09:45 - Guest
What you did was have faith and hope for change. Without that nothing would have happened!

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