In the East Colfax neighborhood of North Aurora, VIA is partnering with 5 other Christian nonprofits and churches to carry out Asset Based Community Development. But what does this mean?
ABCD is a strategy for sustainable community driven development accomplished through identifying and mobilizing existing assets, talents and resources of a community to address community concerns and accomplish community dreams. The starting point is acknowledging that every person is made in the image of God. The impact of this is (A) that everyone has worth and dignity and is worthy of being treated with respect, and (B) everyone is gifted with talents, skills and abilities to use to meet their own and their families needs as well as to help others.
It is acknowledging and valuing these talents, abilities and resources that is at the heart of this work. If we only see the deficits, disabilities or problems of a person or a community, then we devalue their God-given worth and dignity. Valuing these assets encourages and empowers people to use the abilities they have to solve the challenges they face. By also acknowledging our own brokenness and struggles, we can enter into a supportive relationship on an equal basis as we walk alongside each other and build each other up.
The Flourish East Colfax coalition has also been organizing Prayer Walks through the community and along Colfax Ave. We are planning another of prayer walk along Colfax Ave. on a Saturday in May starting at the Martin Luther King Library at 9898 East Colfax, Aurora. We will keep you informed of the specific date this prayer walk will take place. Anyone interested is invited and encouraged to join in. —Donn Hansum, Director