This month 16 years ago Bridge Ministry of Acadiana was conceived by a small group at Trinity Bible Church that came together to discussed how to go love our neighbors in deep meaningful ways that goes beyond feeding fish. We all saw the brokenness in our generationally under-resourced neighborhoods, but quickly faced the fact that we did not have a clue how to go love our neighbors. After a couple of meetings, we decided to simply join an established organization. We began studying the non-profits in our city to find the best fit. To our chagrin we did not find such an organization. There were many good relief and rehab type non-profits, but no relational long term development type non-profits. We began facing the fact that we must create our own inner-city mission. In not having a clue how to proceed we began looking for a biblical model by traveling, reading and meeting people. Our Pastor introduced us to his longtime friend Jimmie Dorrel from Mission Waco. Jimmie became our mentoring coach and directed us to the Christian Community Development Association where we met more mentors like Dr. John Perkins from Jackson, Wayne Gordon from Chicago, Robert Lupton from Atlanta, and many more. We began traveling to Waco, Jackson, New Orleans, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Miami learning how to love our generationally under-resourced neighbors (without causing harm). In our exploration phase we began learning the theology of Christian Development (not relief). We were taught the importance of our organization embracing a sound biblical theology before taking action. One year after our initial meeting at Trinity Bible Church, after much reading, after studying our city’s demographics, touring other inner-city ministries, etc., we placed an “X” on the map and moved into the middle of a generationally under-resourced and unsafe neighborhood here in Lafayette. Much like “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, MSG), we did the same in October 2003, our Birthday.
Bridge Ministry of Acadiana moved into this under-resourced Four Corners neighborhood with the intentional long term goal of falling in love with our neighbors in right and meaningful ways that holistically build all up mentally and spiritually. Relying on our Lord we faithfully entered in fear and trebling…. going awkwardly door to door listening and learning from our new neighbors. We quickly realized this inner-city ministry was too large for our church, so the ministry was spun-out as a 501c3 Christian non-profit that embraces all churches. As a result, hundreds of faithful pray-ers, volunteers and investors have graced our neighborhood over the years.
On this our 15thBirthday we THANK GOD first and foremost for His loving us, freeing us, guiding us, and empowering us to go love othersover the years. God has shown us His Kingdom process of grace, faith, truth, love, righteousness, and justice that promises to produce wholeness, peace and joy. We also THANK GOD FOR YOU. We thank you for faithfully being in the trenches of life with us by volunteering, investing and or praying for our neighborhood, community and ministry over these years. You have been a great encouragement to us and your fellowship has brought us much joy. We especially THANK OUR NEIGHBORHOOD for showing us so much grace, faith, trust, and love. We THANK OUR COMMUNITY of Churches, Businesses, and Government for trusting Bridge Ministry of Acadiana with their shared resources. We thank our Savior and Lord for bringing us all together as one Body to love Him, our neighbors and selves. THANK YOU!!!!
“How can we give God enough thanks for you for all the joy you give us?” (1 Thess. 3:9, NLV)