The Gerhardt family serves in New Orleans with Urban Impact.
1. Your presence in our ministry. It is your prayers and partnership that fuel our ability bring God’s presence, His kingdom, to Central City New Orleans and beyond.
2. Continuing to expand our outreach to youth and families in a safe, productive manner. This year, we:
• Grew our senior and junior high youth programming by over 30%
• Sponsored seven weeks of Day Camp
• Led our own youth summer camp in Florida
3. Growing our partnerships with local churches to support our neighborhood programming and recruit more mission teams to serve our neighborhood as we teach about God’s justice to help expand kingdom justice to other areas of our country.
• Partnered with two church plants that utilize our facility for office, programing space and worship.
• Hosted seven weeks of summer youth teams (three are already booked for next summer!).
• Recruited six adult teams that helped us replace three roofs in 75 days after the hurricane and provide other service to our neighbors.
4. Hiring a new education director, as Josiah, our current director, is getting married and moving out of NOLA. We also want to add someone with social work expertise to help us bring family transformation to a greater level.
• Josiah and Anne got married and are doing well in San Antonio, TX.
• Hired Elijah Gerhardt as our new education director. He comes to us with a degree in Elementary Education and public-school teaching experience. His experience will help us focus our programs on proactively reaching younger students before it is too late. Program restarted September 2021.
• Still committed to hiring someone with social work experience. Let us know if you have any recommendations!
5. Blessing families in our neighborhood
• We blessed five families with funds after Hurricane Ida
• After Hurricane Ida, we blessed the neighborhood with 5,100 hot meals and provided groceries and supplies to over 400 families
• Cleaned out nearly an acre of jungle of overgrowth near our affordable rentals to help deal with the drug and prostitution problems
- Partnering with Second Harvest to provide fresh food once a month.
6. Finally, we celebrate the presence of Immanuel in the young adults and youth of our neighborhood.
Too often, youth, especially those in marginalized neighborhoods, are portrayed as gangbangers, thugs and takers. I can tell you firsthand that in our neighborhood there is a group of high school and college aged youth that are making a difference by living out I Timothy 4:12. We were able to do all the great things this summer and after Hurricane Ida because of our youth who served their community with joy and love.
One such young man is T. T. started hanging with us in his elementary years at Challenge Circle and day camp. He was a handful and was often asked to leave camp for day – but we always welcomed him back. In high school, he continued to struggle with direction and anger.
Fast forward to this summer. He served as a significant helper/leader in the camp, but also struggled with anger and other issues. Although he ended the summer on a bad note, God grabbed him, and I’m excited to share that T. rededicated his life to Christ, got clean, and was baptized. Now, he is in his first year of college and is volunteering at UIM. He is a shining light to his family and is being discipled by three of our staff!
It is so exciting to see people like T. using their willingness to accept the life that God has for him. It is T. and the other youth of our neighborhood which should encourage us all about the future of the church.
We are so excited to be Immanuel in our neighborhood in 2022. With your help, our goals include:
- Increasing our youth ministry participation by 50%.
- Increasing our education enrichment participation by 70% and adding 5 new volunteers.
- Launching a new young adult ministry to disciple and train our next generation of leaders.
- Hiring at least two college-aged neighborhood students part time to invest in our ministry year-round.
- Growing our youth discipleship and training by having three experiences this summer – our own growth level retreat, going to the EFCA’s Challenge Conference, and returning to KAA.
- Hiring a staff member trained in Social Work
- Hiring 15 high school and college aged youth this summer.
- Preparing for Pastor John’s retirement in the next 4 years by beginning the process of identifying our next Executive Director and securing funding.
- Launching our first Capital Ministry Campaign to ensure financial stability in the future.
As we end this year, would you please prayerfully consider partnering once again to help us continue to :
Create A Neighborhood Where Kids Can Ride Their Bikes?
Our goal is $80,000 with a dream of another $37,000 to fix all the repairs on our youth center from Hurricane Ida that our insurance does not cover.
Your willingness to partner with us will help us expand our work to bring the presence of God’s peace, love, joy, and salvation to central city New Orleans and beyond.
You can also give online at www.urbanimpact.org and clicking Donate Now.
PO Box 50223 New Orleans, LA 70150