Over the last couple of years, my heart has become really burdened for the city of Santa Ana and particularly the children of our city. Over 80% of the students in the Santa Ana school district are on the free/reduced lunch program, meaning their families are below the state poverty line. 50% of the 330,000 residents of Santa Ana are under the age of 18. What these 2 stats obviously indicate is this...
Our city is very young and our city is economically poor.
When a city is predominately young and economically poor 3 results naturally occur:
#1 - Schools become overcrowded, under resourced and low performing (*although our Santa Ana Schools have been making huge improvements over the past couple of years!)
#2 - Crime increases, particularly gang affliation (Over 5,000 Santa Ana kids under 18 are involved in gangs)
#3 - Families often struggle with overwhelming busyness, stress, depression and apathy
As I have lived in our city and served in our city, I have seen these struggles occur all over our city, block to block, neighborhood to neighborhood.
Yet the good news is this...I have also seen our mighty God at work in Santa Ana, doing beautiful things in the city.God is using school teachers, administrators, city leaders, entrepreneurs, parents, kids and Churches to love the city of Santa Ana and serve the people of the city.Over the past couple of years, I have had the honor to meet and become friends with so many of these amazing people. People like Anthony Serrano, who gives his life to coach kids at the Santa Ana Boxing Club and Kate Medina, who drives kids all over Santa Ana and beyond taking them camping, to Church, to Angel games whenever and wherever she can!.
Both Anthony and Kate serve with the Orange County Youth Commission. The O.C.Y.C. is making a huge impact in kids lives through people like Anthony and Kate! Recently, we were asked at Calvary Church to help develop a promo video for the O.C.Y.C. and I tapped my friend (and former roommate!) Chad Ashton from our Church to put a piece together. I love what he came up with...watch below...