CHICAGO (BP)–Gunfire didn’t frighten mission volunteers away from the Chicago neighborhood where two Texas Baptists were shot last summer, the pastor there reported.
“We’ve got a full docket again,” said pastor Tom Maluga of Uptown Baptist Church. “We’ve got basically a waiting list” of groups wanting to come to Chicago to minister this summer.
Uptown utilizes about 40 missions volunteers each week, all summer long. The volunteers help church members operate several ministries, including:
— Bible clubs for children, typically located near high-rise public housing.
— Nursing home ministries and ministries to senior adults.
— Youth programs and activities.
— Ministries to mentally handicapped people. Church groups, including one that was ministering at Uptown when two members of the mission team from Seventh & James Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, were shot last summer, are lining up to participate, Maluga said.
Beyond the direct activities of the church’s ministries, the Chicago congregation is intentional about “having a ministry of peace in our community,” Maluga said. “It’s an impact the church must have. The violence of society gives the church an opportunity to have an influence for peace.”