Hamilton, Ohio is a growing city, in population, diversity, and attractions. At a quick glance, the city seems to be thriving, but when you look closely Hamilton is riddled with oppression. With a large cultural divide in ethnicity and prostitution comes a growing homeless population and the looming presence of drug and alcohol abuse.
Our SDG Hamilton team is made up of people recovering or struggling through substance abuse, homelessness, disability, racism, lack of education, joblessness, orphaned, and so many other backgrounds. Many in the group have been brought out of their old struggles and into the redeeming grace of God. The group meets every Thursday to study the Word of God and eat a meal together. As we thanked the Lord for showing us His grace we felt a call to share the good news with the many others in Hamilton who are still living in oppression. One of the group members works for Tin Roof Society, and has been watching the impact SDG has been having in Kenya. SDG seemed like the perfect platform to spread the gospel in Hamilton and bring light into a dark place. After reading about the “Refresh A Cop” the SDG Nairobi team participated in, we felt this was the perfect beginning to spark change.
Many people on our team had spent time in prison in the past and did not have the greatest relationship with Hamilton cops who work so hard to protect us. Although the group was in agreement to serve the cops it was obvious that not all were participating with a heart of love and service. Despite this the whole group participated in baking cookies and writing cards.
When we arrived at the station to give the cards and cookies we were greeted by a very friendly cop, who gratefully accepted the items on behalf of the station because the other cops were on duty. The officer then took us on a tour of the station. As we walked through the station there were some cops on break who recognized one of our team members from when they had arrested him in the past. They were very encouraged that someone who they had arrested in the past was coming back to thank them for their service and that our team member is trying to get off the street and give back to the neighborhood.
Although we only got to personally meet three cops and pray with one, we trust the Lord used the cookies and cards to encourage the cops who bravely protect us everyday. There was a major switch in the attitude in our team members to cops, as in the past many of them had bad experience with cops. We may never know the full impact that SDG team had on the cops, but it really sparked a heart change in many of our members. In a town were most energy is put to selfish gain or survival SDG is a great way to show kindness and the love of God throughout the community. SDG Hamilton is so excited to work alongside the other SDG teams around the world, and spread the love of God through service.
Post by Hannah Snyder, Administrative Assistant at Tin Roof Society