2019–2021 Mission Grant: Restoring Hope for Detroit Children and Families Camp Restore Detroit, $100,000

Restoring Hope in Detroit

By Bethany Mrosko, Director of Christian Outreach Intern, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church & Camp Restore Detroit, with Cheri Fish, Mission Editor

Look at the picture of this house; what do you see? Abandonment? Hopelessness? What about hopes? Dreams? Because the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League blessed Camp Restore Detroit (CRD) with a grant this last summer, they were able to purchase and make plans to renovate this house to make it part of CRD campus. This house will become an outreach center focused on children, while another nearby house will become an adult outreach center.

CRD’s mission is to demonstrate Christian hope while restoring the Detroit community. Groups of all ages from across the country serve on the campus. Volunteer groups are housed and fed at Mt. Calvary Lutheran, Detroit, and given service projects in the community. Everything CRD does is in partnership with members of the community. This campus expansion, as well as the services to be offered, will help CRD empower and encourage those who remained through the worst times of Detroit, working hard to restore the beloved city.

Historically, CRD has focused work and ministry on three specific areas: First, these houses clearly need a lot of construction work! The insides are completely demolished, with only subfloor and studs remaining. Restoring the space happens anyway they can dream up! The plans for the children’s outreach house are to create a large classroom space to use for music, art classes, and tutoring, a small lounge space, a handicap accessible bathroom, and a kitchenette. The second floor will house CRD offices. Hopes for the winter were to receive funds for a new roof and, possibly, begin construction inside.

The second focus is environmental care of the neighborhood. The area around CRD is less than 25% populated. Most of the land and houses are abandoned and unkempt. With the help of the community,

CRD is slowly working to bring beauty back to the neighborhood by caring for these abandoned lots. The house pictured was once one of those abandoned houses. Campers cleared the yard, cut down trees, and built new front steps, kicking off the beautification of this property.

Finally, and most importantly, CRD’s ministry of human care will be nourished with these Outreach Houses. Everything they do is centered on relationships: with the community, with campers, and with our Savior Jesus. The Outreach Houses provide an amazing opportunity to build more relationships, allowing CRD to share God’s love through words and service. Knowing that, even if every house in the neighborhood is restored, the only hope that will truly last is the saving hope in Jesus.

CRD is excited to begin working on these outreach houses and continue dreaming about the programming which will be shared in order to spread God’s love with this community. They truly appreciate each member of the LWML who generously supports this project through mission grants and Mite Boxes! Right now, the house might look hopeless. However, our amazing God specializes in taking the hopeless and devastated and uses them to bring hope and restoration.

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This story was originally featured in the Spring 2020 Lutheran Woman's Quarterly. Order your subscription here.

For more information about this mission grant, view the individual mission grant page here.

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