by Kevin Calhoun
When you travel to the near eastside of Indianapolis and look into the eyes of the individuals that live there, they don’t have any idea what you are talking about. Once a heart of Indianapolis, economic ills, such as suburban flight, urban disinvestment, and highway construction has destroyed housing, businesses and many key schools.
Consider this, the poverty rate on the near east side of Indianapolis has reached as high as 38.6%. This affects eight out of ten children that rely on school as their primary source of food during the week. Of these children, only 33% will enter high school and only 75% of those graduate. This low graduation rate coupled with the fact that 1 out of 5 homes stand vacant, boarded up and in major disrepair attracts crime and contributes to further blight.
The individuals of this area feel abandonment and anything but loved.
Neighborhood Fellowship (www.neighborhood-fellowship.org) is working to change these feeling by loving their neighbors, one relationship at time. Weekly this church follows the 2nd greatest commandment that we should love our neighbors as ourselves by opening up their doors and providing meals to those from the area.
Recently, Document Mountain by Cornerstone participated in preparing and serving meals at neighborhood fellowship. This consisted of setting up the dining area, cooking the main meal, as well as side and dessert dishes. More than 100 individuals were served. Once completed everything had to be cleaned and readied for the next meal.
Think about this, a recent study conducted at Arizona State University concluded that people who have been shown love had a lower stress level, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and higher immune systems. Professor Kory Floyd, the conductor of the study summarized it like this “One of the things I give as an example of the link between affection and health is the way you feel when you’re having a really horrible day, and everything’s going wrong. And in the midst of that stressful day, you see somebody that cares about and they put their arms around you and give you a hug,” he says. “That hug may not change anything about what’s going bad in your day, but it can change everything about the way you feel in that moment. It feels like all of your stress is just melting away.”
Neighborhood Fellowship is showing love to their neighbors one relationship at a time.