John Canda believes the best way to curb gang violence is to ask adults–especially men–simply to show up.
If John Canda had to credit one person for his faith and wide-reaching impact in Portland, Oregon, he would point to Grace Collins, a German Christian woman who ran Grace Collins Memorial Center, the daycare Canda attended while growing up in the 1960s on the city’s northeast side.
“Ms. Collins and her sisters would read us Scriptures,” Canda, 46, recalls. “I remember sitting in Sunday school, and as the pastor shared Bible passages, I’d join in and recite with him, and people would look at me. It was all because of Ms. Collins.”
Long after needing day care, after spending days swimming at Dishman Community Center, Canda and his friends would visit Ms. Collins.
“She’d have this 11½-minute Bible study for us, and her pantry was always full–chips, cookies, soda. We’d go there every summer; she’d fill the room. She was planting seeds,” Canda said.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today