Jesus cares about kittens! 

Hi friends!! I have another little story about my 15 days at Hillside. But I want to begin with some facts:

Allison Hill (also known as The Hill) is a neighborhood in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is located directly east of downtown Harrisburg on a bluff overlooking the older original borough (now city) along the Susquehanna River. The Hill comprises many sub-neighborhoods with nicknames such as “The Ville” and the “Third Ward”. The majority are low income and one third are under the age of 18. The many cultures represented in Allison Hill include West African, Vietnamese, Indonesian, diverse Latin American, African-American, and European-American populations. The Hill is home to many businesspeople, artists, and social justice and community activists. Many of Allison Hill’s once pristine homes and buildings have fallen into disrepair and been condemned. The neighborhood presently struggles against issues including delinquent land-owners, drug-dealing, litter, robbery, increased homicide, and prostitution. 

The mansion sticks out like a sore thumb in that neighborhood, teeming with life, hope, joy, and peace. They know the mansion very well, they know Christians live there, they know His presence dwells there. Every Monday night they host “Monday at the Mansion” with the Hermans (wearethehermans.com) – side note their first album came out and it’s AMAZING.

So our first Saturday there we had a food pantry and gave away somewhere around 300lbs of food (maybe more? I don’t know for sure) and the rest of us were sent in groups to dive into the neighborhoods and spread the message of hope, to pray for people, to share stories, to listen to their stories, to cry and laugh with them but most of all to love them, truly love them. 

This was daunting for me, because I am white, I only speak English, I am middle class, I am privileged. I have never gone one day hungry or without. I have a job, a car, and all my necessities. So how would I relate? We started walking down the streets, smiling and saying hello to everyone we stumbled upon. We engaged in small talk. But no success. We prayed and asked God to direct us, and just kept walking. Still nothing, most people denied us. But I wasn’t disappointed in the least, just walking thru the neighborhood was eye opening, I prayed as I walked. Asking God to heal hearts, to bring restoration to the area. 

Then we ran into another group of students talking to some people on their porch, so we came over to say hello. I stood in the back and assessed the situation, seeing that the other group was fully engaged in conversation I thought; “ok it’s time to go back to the mansion.” Nothing happened, no one wanted prayer, no one got healed but at least I tried right? I took a step of obedience. But sorta out of no where this tiny little ball of fur slowly made its way out from somewhere unseen, it crawled to the middle of the porch (of an abandoned/condemned house) and collapsed as if to say “I give up.” Head down, eyes not even opened, I asked around; “is this anyone’s cat???” They people that lived in the adjoining apartment said that it belonged to no one and for us to just take it. I looked at my group, and I looked back at the kitten, and I said to my group leader: “we HAVE to do something, I can’t leave it here” literally I was in tears. It looked gross, and I’m not a cat person, and I really didn’t want to touch it, but I knew it needed help. Thankfully my precious friend and teammate Victoria scooped it up without thought and off we went! We were determined to save the kitten. That much I knew. I found a local shelter, and thankfully had my car on hand, so off we went! Apparently there are a ton of hoops to jump thru to surrender an abandoned kitten but we had favor with the shelter worker (she was from Rochester ☺️) and finally able to leave it. 

All that said, we didn’t have any crazy testimonies about our time in the neighborhood – but we took care of a kitten. Because well, Jesus cares about kittens too. 

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Published in: on July 9, 2016 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

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