Last month, I asked you to pray for me as I open up a new area in 2018. The two cities I had in mind were Cincinnati and Pittsburg. I was sure the Lord was leading me to either one of those two cities. Well, I ended up in Youngstown, Ohio.
A few weeks ago I went on an exploratory mission to find exactly where the Holy Spirit was leading in Youngstown. I ended up making good connections at an apartment complex on the Northwest side of the city. The Brier Hill community. Brier Hill was where the first Italian immigrants went in Youngstown. That community still has some mafia ties today.
Perfect place for the gospel!
Youngstown was once a booming steel city. Today is it has the highest poverty level in the nation according to the “Brookings Institute.” WFMJ reported last year that Youngstown’s poverty level is at an all-time high.
“We don’t have that feel of dire poverty, but I was really shocked to see those figures of the income people are making and we’re just down that far,” says 1st Ward City Councilwoman Annie Gillam.
A new study from the Brookings Institute says that 46.2 million Americans now live in poverty. That’s a historic high.
It also says Youngstown has the highest poverty rate in the country. The federal poverty line is $22,314 for a family of four.
Youngstown’s neighborhood poverty is an estimated 49.7%.
Usually, when you hear about “neighborhood poverty” people are referring to “projects” or “ghettos.” Youngstown has some of the poorest projects in the nation. People who are desperate to survive which usually causes more crime- specifically violent crime.
According to Wikipedia, “One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 15. Within Ohio, more than 90% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Youngstown. The violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small).”
So, with this information, will you pray for Youngstown? Pray that God will use SEEDNet to bring the good news of Jesus to people who are desperate for it. Pray for many salvations and churches to be planted here.
Written by Andy