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God’s Victories in Brookside

Written by John Lane on

Last spring, Pastor Dale Shaw came to College Park Castleton to highlight the Urban Outreach going on in Brookside. He spoke of an upcoming “Brookside Road Trip.” I signed up, and subsequently spent an incredible three hours witnessing firsthand the work God is doing in the inner city.

Systemic poverty and crime trap many families in the Brookside community, making it near impossible to leave or initiate a different way of life. Yet, God is working in Brookside through College Park, and it is powerful to see such a desperate need for hope and the opportunities we have to share it with our neighbors.

I won’t spoil the blessing by revealing all the miracles I saw and the stories I heard. But I urge you, brothers and sisters, to make time for this trip if you are able. I promise you will witness God’s hand up close and his immense blessing on this ministry. I was simultaneously humbled, heartbroken, and filled with joy as Dale relayed story after story of God’s victories in this community. On a larger scale, I also urge you to consider the importance of outreach; God has placed a “Brookside” community near you, as well.

One specific story from my trip will remain with me forever. As we drove past an elementary school, Pastor Dale said that ninety percent of the students now enrolled will not complete the school year. This sober reality for such young children brought me to tears.

We boast of God’s work in Brookside, but there are still setbacks and defeats. I drove home from the road trip with a joyful, but heavy, heart. The closer I am to missions, the more tender my heart becomes. This specific darkness is grave and complicated, but so near to us in this eastside neighborhood of Indianapolis. We must only have willing eyes to see it and hearts trusting that God’s victories are endless, and he holds mighty power to redeem.

To God be the glory for his work in Brookside and his work in College Park Church. I encourage you to pray for a willing heart to engage with the reality of darkness—wherever you may see it in your life— alongside the greater reality of God’s light.

John Lane

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