Friday, August 20, 2010

In Prayer

Hi all. First, thank you. Secondly, thank you. And lastly, thank you. We do need your help right now. This is a final appeal for help for our Miracle Among The Ruins project in our community. We have come so far, but still have a final push before our Aug. 31 closing deadline. I am going to write a few words below you can pass on to others in your networks, but for videos and more indepth plans and discussion you can go or send folks to And again, thank you, if you have already given and sometimes given twice, if you have passed things on before, or if you haven't yet or just now getting to it, or just have decided not to this time, thank you still. What a summer it has been.

I have decided to spend most of my effort in these final days in prayer for the people in our area, and for our project, and for the grace to know that if this is a "God-thing" and not a "my thing" or even "our thing" it will happen, and if not, then the "God-thing" will be to listen and to learn and to discern and to live the truth of the parable of the sower of seeds. But as I go into a time of prayer, in part remembering that it was a year ago this month that I had my heart attack and so my prayer time is also setting aside time to reflect back on all of this amazing last year, I still want to write one more update that you can share with others.

On August 31 we have a closing date set to purchase if the funds come in the acre of land on North Johnstown, twelve city lots on a city block, here in our area to transform abandoned rundown properties and eyesore, past which children and families walk to school and more than a mile and back to grocery store and other stores in our area, to turn it into a community building garden, kitchen, and park space. Here where nothing new has started for years on this scale, nothing since our community center started, and nothing new since OU started partnering with us. We call it the Miracle Among The Ruins, and it will be. We have Tulsa County agreeing to remove the houses and structures and clearing the property for us, once we purchase it. We have volunteers ready to transform it. But first we must be able to buy it.

The miracle I think will be to raise the final $3,000 we still need by then. LOL. Then watch that miracle create an even bigger one, as we turn around this zipcode having the lowest life expectancy in the Tulsa area, fourteen years lower than just a few miles south of us on the same street. So much has been going the wrong way for our people and our area; the latest is the loss of science teachers in the northside elementary schools; the cutback in July of the health clinics in our area (we are the only OU clinic left on the north side and we have been cut back to one morning a week) right where we have this highest health need. And between May 1 and July 31 alone there have been 311 shootings, 311, 311, in and near our area, not counting the ones that are not reported to police. We need this project now.

Now we need your help to raise the final $3,000 toward this project by Aug. 31. We need three people or groups of people, like a class or church or civic groups, who can give $1000 each to the project; or six to give $500, or twelve to give $250 or just 30 to give $100. Preferably some combination of the above. Give in honor of someone who stood for justice, that inspired you, and they will be included in honor at the site. Don't think someone else will so you don't have to; we have been trying to raise funds since March and we know this isn't so. Don't wait; donate. It is easy and safe to donate online; you don't need paypal to donate; just go to and click on the donate button; or send checks made out to A Third Place to 6514 N. Peoria Ave. Turley, OK 74126.

Now we need your help to donate and to let your networks of colleagues, alumni, family and friends know you donated and ask them to do so also.

The money we have been trying to raise since March is "just" $15,000 but that is in itself more than the average per capita income in our service area; it is also three fourths of our volunteer group's annual budget, 100 percent goes into mission.

I know this isn't always easy to do, not only to give but to pass on our project to others; I would much rather have been working in the community for all the hours I have spent trying to raise these funds. But I keep thinking, and seeing, the kids and families pushing grocery carts up the hill by this property on their way to and from home, and with school starting up again I want to give them something different to walk by and be inspired by.

We have so many seeds being sown right now; I could have used this space to tell you all about the projects small and big, like diversity movie nights, Saturday lunches, the veterans of diverse communities project, community partnerships and projects, about that revolutionary health concept of creating neighborhood lay health associates in all the culdesacs and deadends here, an idea that was born here and is catching vision across our community, the gardening at schools and wherever we can find an ugly spot, the constant problem with the landfill and trash and our cleanup efforts, the expansion of our food justice center, or about the inspirational Sunday morning gatherings as we relax, worship, talk, watch movies, pray, sing, in groups of two or more, barely two or more sometimes, putting our lives together for the greater Life of which we are a part, everlastingly. To get more on all that and all that I have forgotten to mention go to or to my revronrobinson facebook page. Right now, I wanted to focus one last time on the Miracle Among The Ruins. I hope you will too.

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