Cleveland was once one of the great industrial steel towns of the Midwest, but during the last five decades Cleveland has experienced devastating change. The population has decreased by over 50%, the educational system has fallen in to disrepair, and the prevailing attitude has been bleak. But it is a new day, and Cleveland has been experiencing somewhat of a renaissance in its culture, direction, and potential. There is a growing conviction that the Lord is moving in powerful ways in the region. Doors of kingdom opportunity are opening in the midst of a tough urban environment, a rapidly developing refugee population, and through the collaborative efforts of kingdom-minded churches and organizations.
MISSION: Envision Cleveland seeks to collaborate with individuals, communities, ministries and government to transform neighborhoods across Cleveland.
We have observed four main internal struggles in the city including a lack of hope, family (belonging), identity, and resources. From these internal issues, it seems there are a number of external symptoms that are produced. These include poverty, crime, gangs, drugs, trafficking, mental illness, segregation, and broken homes to name a few.
In response to these, we believe God has called Envision Cleveland to a mission of Restoration, Reconciliation, and Resourcing.
Restore: We want to see hope restored in people’s lives and neighborhoods. We want to see identity restored to people that have been marginalized, hurt or displaced. We want to see houses and properties restored from abandoned and deteriorating, to livable and contributing.
Reconcile: We have a burden to see people reconciled back into right relationship with God. As ambassadors of Christ we believe we have a message of reconciliation that only comes through Jesus Christ. We also have a burden to see reconciliation among people to each other. John Perkins, co-founder of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) says, “a person’s love for Christ should break down every racial, ethnic and economic barrier. We are committed as an organization to listen, learn and practice reconciliation in all we do.
Resource: Cleveland continues to rank nationally, topping the lists of cities with high crime rates, poverty, and poor education. Although we are seeing a renaissance of sorts in our downtown areas we continue to see under resourced neighborhoods, communities and ministries. Envision Cleveland's desire is help with resources along with being an advocate for the redistribution of resources in Cleveland. John Perkins says, “Redistribution brings new skills, new relationships, and new resources and puts them to work to empower the residents of a given community of need to bring about healthy transformation.” We are accomplishing this by having a committed staff that is on the ground living life with people, providing volunteer opportunities, and recruiting donors from around the city and beyond to invest in the work that is being done.
MAC LIFE Church supports the ministry of Jim and Denise Manchester with Envision Cleveland which is a ministry of the Missionary Alliance. Jim and Denise will be with us on Feb. 24 for the morning worship service.