About God’s Resort
God’s Resort is a neighborhood located in downtown Joplin, MO. Though seemingly a quiet, small town, Joplin has an intense problem with methamphetamine, alcoholism, and broken homes. We may be small, but we have the same decaying problems seen in bigger cities around the United States.
Two years ago, College Heights Christian Church saw the need in our neighborhood and opened a community house in half of an old duplex. From that apartment, they developed an after school program for the kids on Monday afternoons, tutoring on Wednesdays, counseling evenings, and a Sunday night home group. In August 2007, a board of directors was formed who bought the six buildings now known as God’s Resort. In just two years we have seen the neighborhood transform from the last stop in Joplin for housing before being homeless or put in jail to a place with a waiting list for families wanting to move in.
Having worked with the kids for a year from Fall 2006 to Summer 2007, I wanted to have closer ties to the families in the neighborhood. In August I moved to God’s Resort with my best friend because we felt like loving people at God’s Resort was a far better use of our time then sitting by the pool at our old apartment complex. So many people came in and out of the neighborhood weekly trying to help out the families down at God’s Resort and though deep down we wanted to help them, we wanted even more just to be there with them living life. We wanted to know and carry their burdens with them and we knew that could only be done if we ‘walked a mile in their shoes’. So for almost a year we have set beside them at the dinner table; battled cockroaches, leaky roofs, and alley cats; and cried together in times of struggle. We have been to birthdays, jails, schools, and hospitals. We have lived life with them and they are now our family, our community and we love them, so much.
God’s Resort is a place where the evidence of Christ working in people’s lives cannot be ignored. There truly is no other explanation for the radical transformation that has occurred not only in the physical environment there, but in the hearts and minds of its residents. My time there has forever changed me. I will never be able to ignore the injustice around me in my city ever again. I cannot desire to live somewhere that disconnects me from the suffering a few short miles away. I am changed and it has only pushed me to work for greater change wherever I may go.