Missionary team takes on gang community in California with Gospel.

By October 31, 2006

USA (MNN)–Homicides and other violent crimes account for about half of all recorded gang-related incidents. That’s a sobering statistic for those working in communities where crime rates continue to soar.

According to statistics from the FBI, Stockton was the most violent big city in California in 2005 for a second straight year. Last year, police say violent crime rose more than 2 percent nationally after falling for several years.

World Gospel Mission’s Bob Margaron (mar-gah-ROHN) makes a difference from the Stockton Peniel Neighborhood Center in California. “We literally work with seventh-generation gang families, which is just a symptom across the United States. Those are people who have either no exposure to the Gospel, or the twisted sense of the religious icons from their generational lifestyle.”

The why? Because, he says, “It’s better to build children than repair adults.” He’s working to show them there is a choice. Many children growing up in the inner city do not have the opportunity to learn that there is a different life outside of gangs, drugs and violence.

The evangelistic part of the ministry requires heart, dedication and time, because: “It’s building relationships because of the lack of trust in this environment. It’s getting the people to be willing to open up and become honest and being willing to accept you to hear what you have to say…seeing the consistency of the love of Christ in you as the minister of the Gospel.”

His dedication was awarded with the presentation of the 2006 “Peacemaker” award in San Joaquin County on May 19, 2006.

He was nominated by the Stockton police department for his work with families, gangs and people in the community. Margaron is one of four people in the entire county that was honored for their accomplishments.

With this in mind, the center works under the motto, “Giving faith, hope, and love to inner-city kids.” Click here if you want to find out how to support this inner-city outreach.

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