On the corner of 7th Ave and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Oak Park, Sacramento, you’ll find an empty lot. On one wall, a spectacular mural of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On a fence nearby, the word “hope” in graffiti with a line cut across it.
Ironically, this leads you to a building that houses City of Refuge Sacramento, an organization that works tirelessly to transform this community through the HOPE of Christ.
When you walk through the open door, you’ll hear the chatter and laughter of young teenage girls hanging out after school. On the schedule today is group boxing lessons. The girls head over to the corner of the brick building, and with the help of volunteers and their boxing instructor, wrap their hands in tape and slide on their boxing gloves. With hands taped and gloves on, a few girls do some light work on the bags while others do a few pushups. Once class begins, they spar, learn footwork, and giggle as girls do.
This is just one of the many ministries offered at City of Refuge Sacramento. A buzz of hope fills this place every day as teens discuss their worth and learn life skills.
Marissa is one of many Baysiders who works directly with the youth. “Under-resourced and high trauma rate communities like Oak Park,” she says, “leave these girls without the hope of a Good Father, without the hope of a better tomorrow, without the hope of safety and security, or the hope that they ARE enough.”
This Easter, as we wave the flag of HOPE, we celebrate real stories of life transformation and the amazing people who spread hope to those who need it most. We praise God for Marissa and the team at City of Refuge, normal people with a heart to pursue the next generation.
Thank you for helping to make HOPE real in Sacramento!
Kira is Art Director at Bayside Church. She oversees the work of graphic designers, video team, photographers who produce creative campaigns for all seven campuses.