Our neighborhood is our home, our classroom, and our place of obedience; it is our place. It is here that we listen, dream and act on behalf of Jesus and aim to be instruments of God's Kingdom. The following initiatives are spaces we have created for our neighbors as we respond to what we hear and see God saying.
GIFFORD PARK SOCCER CAMP
The neighborhood of Gifford Park is one of the most diverse in the city of Omaha: Race, Age, Socio-Economic Status, Education Level--it’s pretty much all represented here. And most people who live here love that about our neighborhood. It’s one of the things that we’re most proud of. But, just being proud of our diversity, doesn’t make it easy to connect across social barriers. Pretty early on as we listened to our place, we discerned that God was leading us to press into helping people build relationships across these barriers through a summer soccer program for youth. And so, we partnered with the Gifford Park Neighborhood Association to start The Gifford Park Soccer Camp. We started in the summer of 2012 with about 25 kids coming to our seven week long camp. Since then we have offered the camp every summer, with steady growth each year. In 2016 over 80 youth and 20 adult volunteers participated! Our purpose is to create a space to explore the sport of soccer and develop the fundamental skills of the game over the course of a multi-week soccer camp and to bring the diverse people living in Gifford Park neighborhood together around the game of soccer.
In 2014 Mom Village was birthed out of the mothers in our community's need for community! Our neighborhood is full of stay at home moms who do life from 7-5 everyday by themselves with very small children. It can be a very isolating and discouraging road, especially during the winter! So Mom Village was birthed with a vision of creating a space where moms and children could connect once a week, with the hope that as relationships developed, families would be more inclined to connect during other times during the week if they were needing relationship or help. Consistently for almost 3 years mothers have come together almost every week to remove themselves from isolation and open themselves up to sharing life with others. It has been an honor for us to serve the mothers of our community in this way. We hear often, "This group has changed my life!" and not only are we humbled, we LOVE it!
In August of 2018 we opend Myrtle & Cypress Coffeehouse as a place of community and connection for the Gifford Park neighborhood. From the very beginning when we raised $13,500 using a crowdfunding to each day we unlock our doors and play host to new and old friends, Myrtle & Cypress is playing an important part in bringing people together and creating space for them to feel loved and experience the love of Christ.