Locking Arms is committed to following Jesus’ example to serve the poor, the disenfranchised, and the “orphan” in their need. Jesus said in the famous parable of “The Sheep and the Goats” that his true followers, his sheep, would be clearly recognized by their compassionate care for the poor. “When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:38-40 NIV
Jesus has also called us as his witnesses, empowered by his Spirit, to go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth making new disciples (Acts 1:8). Pittsburgh is our Jerusalem, right down the road. Serving here is first and foremost for our ministry. Samaria is named by Jesus specifically I believe because it was a region and people coldly forgotten and even despised by the Jews of Jesus day. Our inner city communities represent Samaria for the church in our day. They are very often avoided and forgotten by the suburban church community. Jesus has also called us to go to the ends of the earth. We have interpreted our international calling to serve and spread the gospel by assisting in equipping pastors in the Dominican Republic and serving in their poor Haitian villages.
Our board along with our leadership team has settled on three ministries where we are providing volunteer support, financial assistance, and in some cases leadership direction. We have developed partnerships with The Bridge Mentoring Program in Wilkinsburg, Light of Life Mission, and Del Rey Ministries in the Dominican Republic.
The Bridge Mentoring Program
The Bridge Mentoring Program is matching adult mentors with boys and girls in the Wilkinsburg community and providing the training and ongoing support necessary for long term success. The Director of the Bridge Program, Joanne Galinowski, is a personal veteran in mentoring and has been an administrator for many years having served at family Guidance before launching the Bridge program last fall. Many of the mentors meet with their mentees weekly at the Boys & Girls Club. The need is great to give consistent, loving support to children as the backlog of 75 children awaiting mentors attests. Locking Arms is providing leadership assistance through Tickets For Kids (TFK) to the Bridge program along with mentor volunteers, financial assistance, and mentor recruitment events.
Light of Life Mission has been serving men and women in recovery and homelessness on the North Side in Pittsburgh for over 60 years. Locking Arms is a community partner assisting in the areas of mentor support, teaching, and discipleship with men in recovery. Through Jerrel Gilliam, Light of Life Director of Operations, Locking Arms is strategically working to equip, mentor and to be a “cheerleader” in the lives of men in their residential program.
Del Rey Ministries is equipping Haitian and Dominican pastors who live and serve in the poor sugar cane villages that dot the outlying areas of the Dominican Republic. The Director of Del Rey Ministries here in the U.S. is Mr. Kim Costanza. Kim has been offering pastoral training, leadership, and financial support to 14 pastors through their pastoral training center in Hato Mayor. Locking Arms is supporting Del Rey through our annual financial pledge to Pastors Anna and David in the village of Vasca. We will continue to make an annual Spring Break mission trip to support the Del Rey villages and pastors. We are additionally leading and funding a boys camp experience in San Pedro for 60 boys from the sugar cane villages.