“Josh, I get that you are starting something, and I am pretty sure this ‘Hope for Youth’ thing is about you and your ministry but I am a little confused about all of it! Wasn’t it called TreeHouse? And how did you come up with the idea? And when will you start working with the teens?”
Great questions everyone! And thanks for asking them! I apologize if you have been a little fuzzy on the details in the midst of all the facebook and blog posts, emails, and requests for “likes”, but it is my intent in this post to clarify things for everyone. Please leave me a comment below or send me an email if any questions remain after reading this post, and thanks for your time and support!
Restoration Church in Levittown, PA is a church plant whose pastor is Ross Manders. The church will be celebrating its second anniversary in October and has done an amazing job of engaging the community around it with a number of outreach oriented (often free) events each year. Ross also happens to be my brother-in-law and I know his heart longs to see the real needs of the people of Levittown met by the work of the local church. One of the main reasons I am writing this post is because Restoration will likely be the location at which we will launch our ministry for at-risk youth. Over the past year and a half I have been encouraged by the work that Ross and my sister Emily have put in, alongside a team of amazing, dedicated volunteers. It has been inspiring to see the positive ways in which the community has been responding to the efforts of Restoration Church.
So when all of us that are in some way connected to Restoration woke on Sunday morning to reports of arson at the church, we were stunned and confused. In the early morning hours someone lit fire to a cross in front of the church, a small wooden playhouse next to the church building, and tossed some burning rags into the building through a broken window. Who would do something like this? And why?
Providently, (I was going to use the word “Fortunately” here, but it doesn’t seem to fit) the fire that was thrown into the church building itself was contained to a sink in a bathroom, where there are very few flammable materials, and an alert neighbor across the street called the fire department soon after seeing the flames of the burning cross at 4:30am.