REACH LOCAL: GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
Glenwood takes up about one square mile of the city of Greensboro, North Carolina. In that square mile over twenty languages are spoken, forty percent of the people live in poverty, and substance abuse is common, but rays of light in the kingdom of God are breaking in. InFaith's Dayna Carr is part of a group of believers who live here and intentionally walk through life together with their neighbors. And the community sees love taking action.
"At the heart of everything is relationship," says Dayna, who has lived in Glenwood for the past fourteen years. "When the real me meets the real you, change happens. We develop empathy for each other. We reflect Christ better, and it's a more complete reflection of the kingdom of God."
So, Dayna walks the streets, talks to her neighbors, and provides spaces for children to thrive. And she dreams and strategizes and plans for how to work with the people around her to create the community that God sees when He looks at Glenwood.
"As someone who grew up in poverty," Dayna says, "I saw my own childhood reflected in these neighborhood kids' lives—the same struggles. I want to be present and help them figure out that there is another way."
Dayna's heart for ministry is a wonderful example of InFaith's focus on reaching local. She seeks to reach out to her community in a way that helps it develop and grow in all of the areas that impact people's lives. She's helped start a school, directs an after-school tutoring program, mentors high-school girls, and leads a book study for people both within and outside the neighborhood to engage with issues related to poverty. She also networks with churches and other organizations to help provide needed resources for the community.
"It's hard to do this life alone," Dayna notes. "God calls us to live in community. We grow as a result of each other's differences. As you live in and become part of the fabric of the community, you more clearly understand the needs there."
One of the things she's found out is that the majority of the kids in the neighborhood don't have books at home. So as a community, they've put up six Little Free Library book boxes. Now kids can just walk down the street and take a book. "It's a small thing, but it's a good thing, and it's been a community effort," Dayna says.
"Everyone always wants to change 'the city,'" she adds. "The city is a big thing to tackle, but a neighborhood, one square mile, is something you can better wrap your arms around."
[Since moving to Glenwood in 2004, Dayna has discovered more and more of God's heart for the poor, for social justice, and for reconciliation. To learn more about Dayna and her ministry, watch our video at infaith.org/greensboro.]