Friday, March 16, 2012

"It's tough being the one there holding a father and mother when they just lost their son"

That's what my friend Matt DeMatteo shared yesterday with our pastoral team after Johnny Vargas passed away. Around 1am I received this string of texts from Matt:
Johnny's death came from a gang related shooting (Tribune link). He was only 19 years old.

Johnny is in the middle, in black tshirt
My heart breaks for his family. For his mother, his father. 
My heart breaks for Matt and those who worked with Johnny. His mentors, his friends.

Clicking on that Tribune link above reveals there are many parents in the city weeping from broken hearts right now. The violence is sickening, as one shooting breeds another and retaliation brings retaliation and more parents and families are left to lost. 

Pray for Chicago. Pray for Little Village and the neighborhoods where this violence will be escalating as the weather changes.

Pray for Matt and Paco who are the pastors at New Life's Little Village location. They are doing all they can to bring the hope of Jesus into a community that experiences an epidemic of violence most people can't even fathom.

Proof of the ongoing cycle of violence came this morning with another string of texts from Matt:

Please join us in prayer! For our city. For this neighborhood. For these young men and women. For the parents scared for their children. For the pastors and mentors and workers who are trying to make a difference and bring Jesus to people who need Him so desperately.

Like we all do.

Prayer is the most important thing needed right now. But do you want to want to help Matt even beyond this? Watch this video about Little Village Life House. This is an amazing project that Little Village is beginning to serve the neighborhood. It's really phenomenal:

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