Chicago is a record breaking city.
Staggering skylines, snow-white winters, and delicious deep-dish pizza make this a metropolis adored by many. But not all of its claims to fame are admirable.
Chicago is also infamously known for its crime, poverty and killings.
The Chicago Tribune reports there have been 2,026 shooting victims in the city of Chicago so far this year. Someone is shot every 3 hours in Chicago.
Pastor Ron Zappia of Highpoint Ministries refuses to sit on the suburban sidelines. This summer, his multi-site church, Harvest, is partnering with various urban churches and ministries to inspire healing in the heart of a broken city.
Between last Saturday’s Chicago Regional Worship Summit featuring Harvest-Worship and the new initiative to “adopt-a-block” on the south side of Chicago through 180 Chicago, this body of believers is making a lasting impact on their neighboring communities.
Over 300 people attended the epic block party in Chicago over Father’s Day Weekend, kicking off what has become a fruitful urban youth mentorship program between Harvest volunteers and Fatherless boys in this grief-stricken neighborhood.
Karl Clauson, Morning Host on Moody Radio and founder of 180 Chicago, was also in attendance.
Pictured Above: Karl Clauson, James Owolabi, field director of 180 Chicago, and Pastor Ron Zappia speak out about their hearts for this community and their excitement for the mentorship program.
Erin Zappia, Pastor Ron’s daughter, shares her experience after face painting for the block party:
“A girl came up to me and asked for ‘LLD’ on her arm. I asked if those were her initials and she said, ‘No, it stands for Long Live David.’ More and more high school, junior high and elementary school girls came up asking for ‘LLPP’, ‘LLB’, ‘LLT’ and other initials to be painted on their faces and arms. Each initial represented a family member or loved one who had died from a shooting in their neighborhood.
I couldn’t believe how many different sets of initials I painted; it was truly an eye-opening experience. At that age I would not have had anyone to write on my arm, meanwhile these girls are seeing the effects of violence every day.”
Whether from the pulpit in the western suburbs of Chicago, a basketball court smack dab in the south side, or on the radio in the daily and weekly 26-minute broadcast, Highpoint, Pastor Ron’s motivation for his ministry stays the same.
“My prayer is for Highpoint to be a ministry where each person would see daily time in God’s Word become the high point of his or her day."
-Pastor Ron Zappia
Highpoint is now available for weekend programing! Check it out here.