Dallas is the epicenter for the national tranformation movement. Historically Dallas has been the ground zero for significant social movements that have been both positive and negative. Randy Skinner is passionate about helping Dallas lead the way in the next great positive cultrual transformation.
The model chosen for sustaining spiritual transformation in urban communities are Houses of Hope located in the Eagle Ford Subdivision in West Dallas. The House of Hope serves as a liaison between 78 homes built by Builders of Hope CDC and Strategic Justice Initiatives Inc. The program calls for “urban missionaries or urban relief workers” to live among a targeted community, thus reducing social isolation and building bridges between the families, local churches, ministries, non-profits, and programs that can meet their needs. Randy & Tammy Skinner serve in the Eagle Ford Subdivision with two other couples. In addition to this model, there are other urban mission couples living in the Greenleaf Village Subdivisions that work with other organizations like West Dallas Community Church, Voice of Hope Ministries and Mercy Street Ministries.
Mission Statement The mission of House of Hope in Eagle Ford is to unite neighbors and other partners (churches, religious organizations, helping agencies, etc.) to enhance the neighborhood system of caring relationships.
The vision of the Eagle Ford House of Hope is to develop a caring community where the Urban Missionaries help facilitate a culture in the neighborhood of caring about the health, housing, education, economic needs, of the community. Through servant leadership the urban missionaries model healthy relationships that contribute to a safe environment resulting in trust and open doors for spiritual ministry. This includes evangelistic outreach, discipleship, and counseling, feeding programs, clothing programs, etc.
Ministry Goals and Objectives of House of Hope
The goals and objectives of the Eagle Ford House of Hope will be based on building a bridge that fills in the gaps when local non-profit and churches are unable to reach a family, or until the relationship is established with a local church or non profit. The following goals have been set for the 78 families.
1 Survey and access the needs of each family spiritually, economically, educationally, socially, and culturally.
2 Determine where each child in the family attends school, and where they are engaged in life skills, bible study, character development, recreation, and tutoring.
3 Determine the health of each couple/single and where they need support for marriage/family, and/or parent/child development.
4 Determine where each family is spiritually and whether they are in relationship with a local church.
5 During the calendar year, a visit to each family to introduce them to the House of Hope concept, and determine any needs they have, and to pray with them.
6 Introduce each family to existing West Dallas organizations and how they can meet their current or future needs.
7 Assist them in finding a church home, and work with local churches and outside West Dallas churches to meet their needs.
8 Conduct three more community wide outreaches/barbeques in relationship with BlessWest, partner churches, and non-profits.
9 Conduct a outreach group in neighborhood to reach outside Builders of Hope homes.
10 Develop outreach programs for children in community in relationship with local non-profits, churches, camps, and House of Hope programs.
1 Youth/Kids Club - After school clubs for children and youth where children are engaged in life skills, bible study/character development, recreation and tutoring.
2 Parent/Neighbors Night - Once a month, this is an evening where parents and other neighbors come together for fellowship and food with no agenda and progresses into a planning group.
3 Service/Super Saturday - Once a month day of community service (nursing homes, hospital, community clean-ups, etc) and special fun activities (skating, bowling, horseback riding, etc) for the kid and youth club participants.
4 Report Card Dinners - All club participants who earn a 2.0 grade point average or higher with no F's (this GPA can be raised at any time) or better are treated to a dinner after each reporting period in which they do so.
5 Community Visits/Contacts - House of Hope missionaries visit each home in their target area to orient them and socialize them to the transformation process. They also work with local agencies to make sure the children in their target area are receiving adequate care.
6 Reading Zones - Homes of volunteers in the neighborhood where children can go to read to others (also volunteers) or be read to (by the volunteers).
7 Neighborhood Newsletter - These are designed to be instruments of hope - alerting the neighborhood about activities, stories about neighborhood members, reporting personal accomplishments, advertising upcoming events, and giving examples on how neighbors can help each other and themselves.
Philosophy of Eagle Ford House of Hope Urban missionaries are critical to reaching the inner city and serve a need that outside visitors are not able to fully achieve. Urban missionaries:
1 Relocate to Relate-a relationship is built by becoming neighbors where you face the same realities that inner city residents face each day.
2 Learning to Love- opportunities arise each day where you have a voice in reconciliation and discipleship making.
3 Serving to Support-missionaries become a bridge for others both inside and outside the neighborhood to join and serve a cause together.
4 Uniting to Understand-you come together to go out to touch your neighbors working together for a healthy community. Serving as a “spiritual nerve” center, lines of communication are opened between neighbors. Strangers become caring friends, fear and suspicion turn into faith and trust which promotes cooperation and unity in problem solving. These new friendships raise cultural awareness and sensitivity where things in common and diversity can both be celebrated. The fruit of this is respect, consideration, and understanding between neighbors that results in a safer environment and concern for others. This opens the door for the gospel to be shared because it has been lived.
The House of Hope concept is simple - it will enlist any person willing to help and train them in a simple method of making friends with neighbors on their block. It is practical - because each community is by its very nature a system of caring relationships. It follows that if a "community becomes sick", you cannot restore it to health except through caring grass roots relationships. And finally it is measurable. We rebuild our neighborhoods by being neighborly and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
You cannot legislate caring. Therefore no amount of political activity will restore "community." Laws create the security for caring to happen, but laws do not happen to create caring! And you cannot buy caring relationships. No amount of economic aid will restore "community." Suffering areas are rebuilt by a caring "community" that has been mobilized by caring people! For more information on Houses of Hope, contact firstname.lastname@example.org