I met with Michael Liimatta, Executive Director of City Vision, earlier today in Kansas City at their new home on 31st Street, just a few blocks west of Troost.  The Salvation Army here in the Midwest will soon begin a pilot program for urban ministry internships with City Vision College.

City Vision recently moved to take up residence in one of several buildings of the True Light Family Resource Center.  After our meeting, Michael took me on a tour.  He introduced me to Pastor Alice.  Alice serves as senior pastor for True Light Church of the Nazarene, just two doors away from City Vision.  On the other side of 31st Street is their Resource Center.  Michael and I walked into the Center not long after lunch had been cleared away for a group session with women who are homeless in the Troost Avenue section of Kansas City.  Check out the True Light Family Resource Center website.

Michael introduced me as being from Chicago.  Alice said that she also is a Chicagoan.  We discovered that we both had worked on the West Side near the CHA Henry Horner Homes, Alice was at Mile Square Health Center when I served at Chicago Temple Corps.  Now she is busy at work in another underserved neighborhood.  Her husband, Philip, teachs at a nearby community college.  Michael says that Alice and Philip not only work at but also significantly invest their own personal resources into the ministry.

I mentioned to Alice that she should meet another transplanted Chicago West Sider, Captain Dale Simmons now serving at the Kansas City Bellefontaine Corps.

Alice showed us around the old house behind the Resource Center.  It’s one of several grand old houses lining Charlotte Avenue south.  Slowly, it has been renovated by volunteers from a number of suburban church members who have heard about True Light’s work.  Hardwood floors shored up and sanded.  New windows.  Tile floor in the bathrooms.  Fresh paint.  Pastor Alice wants to have it ready for this winter as a transitional home for some of the women she works with.

By the way, True Light earlier this month received a Passion Award from the Servant Christian Community Foundation.  Here’s a video feature of True Light; it’s the second in the top row.