— Urban Impact Ministries, affiliated with the Evangelical Free
Church of America, ministers to needy and at-risk populations in post-Katrina New Orleans, Louisiana.
Having served the population since 1989, the ministry has
grown to include education and discipleship programs for at-risk youth and
their families. Their focus is on
developing strategic partnerships with other like-minded ministries, agencies,
and businesses interested in helping people and changing their neighborhoods.
It is about not duplicating services and programs that
someone else is already providing; rather, it is about having work teams from
all over the country come down and assist UIM in doing ministry in their
In the days since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and
surrounding areas, UIM has been looking for ways to improve blighted
areas. In some cases, they're partnering
with Habitat for Humanity to rebuild some homes. UIM is recruiting teams to provide the
volunteer labor to make these properties affordable homes for our residents to
In other cases, it's the rebuilding of the school
system. Thousands of teachers fled the
area when the floodwaters buried the city, and many have not returned. Schools
in New Orleans
face the struggle of educating the returning students with an inadequate staff.
In answer, UIM's education program gives students hope and
training. It provides an essential support system that helps students not only
to succeed but to see that God has a plan and future for their lives.
Part of that education process aims at the high school-aged
student. UIM is reaching out to high school students moving back into New
Orleans. Currently, they have a large group
meeting on Tuesday night from 6-8 p.m. During this time, the students are
split into smaller groups for more in-depth Bible Study.
Put the two together, and the next step is clear. After months of hard work choosing
curriculum, securing funding, and recruiting students, UIM has branched into
high school-level alternative education by launching the Urban Impact
The first day of summer session was July 16. Praise God for this new ministry, and pray
that God uses the staff to make a Kingdom impact on the lives of the students
in this new adventure.