God at Work through Graffiti Baltimore

Charlie and Diane Graffiti Baltimore
Charlie and Diane Brown are beginning a new Graffiti work in East Baltimore. Read below his reflections and observations about the opportunity God is providing in the midst of struggle.

We know that God is sovereign over His creation and that includes the city of Baltimore, MD. The events surrounding the April 12 arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray four days later has sparked protests and one evening of violence which prompted Governor Hogan to declare a state of emergency in Baltimore. This initiated the presence of the National Guard, state police, and several tactical units from surrounding counties to come to the city to restore order in the streets. Most of the rioting has taken place in West Baltimore near North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. The Mondawmin Mall and North Avenue area is in the community where I served as an apprentice to the Garden Church with Pastor Joel Kurz. The Garden Church spearheaded a prayer meeting and clean up effort Tuesday morning immediately following the riots. I was able to join them and be part of the clean up effort. The first business that we offered assistance was a community bar and package store. It was totally devastated and looted. It was so encouraging to see approximately thirty Christians from several of our churches give assistance to this small business owner. We spent approximately three hours there.

Following the clean up efforts we proceeded to the corner of North and Pennsylvania Ave where the CVS store was looted and burned on Monday night. As we circled up to pray several people on the street joined us for an amazing time of prayer for our city. People prayed for the safety of the community and reconciliation between the authorities and our young people. We prayed for justice and against oppression. In the days following several churches have held nightly prayer meetings all over the city.They have been unable to shop at the only grocery store in the community after it was looted on Monday night. The Garden Church with assistance from Captivate Church East Side and NAMB have been providing food for residents in the community who lack transportation and resources. God’s love is being presented to the community and people are sharing the Gospel. The Rite Aid & CVS store (you saw on the news all week) were also looted. Many residents who are physically challenged and lack transportation are now unable to receive critical medications.

We must begin to have honest conversations with regard to race, education, health & nutrition, opportunity, and hope. Why do so many in the African American community feel disenfranchised? Why have relationships between the police and the communities they are supposed to be serving deteriorated to the point of violence? How will our city address these issues? What will our response be as Christians who live in the city of Baltimore? Spontaneous prayer meetings broke out all over the city on street corners. African American pastors and leaders in the city marched together calling for peace.

This is just the beginning. Our hope lies in the Gospel. Many in the city have lost hope. We possess the answer in Christ, yet we must begin to have honest and open conversations with one another. We must get on our knees on behalf of our public officials and leaders in prayer. Our hearts must be tender to the needs of others.

So many of you have been praying for us this week. We thank you. Please continue to do that! East Baltimore Graffiti Church desires to be part of the solution. We are partnering with the Garden Church to provide groceries and toiletries to the residents of West Baltimore who need it most.

You can participate financially by sending contributions marked “Relief” to East Baltimore Graffiti Church.

Please send all support to:
East Baltimore Graffiti Church
PO Box 16091 Baltimore MD 16091.
Email: ebgraffiti@outlook.com
Stay up to date with Charlie by following him on Facebook

Again, the community where EBGC serves was less affected by the riots. That is why we are partnering with the Garden Church to serve the City.

Jeremiah 29:7 says, “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare”. Diane and I are not in exile, but we have been sent to Baltimore to seek the welfare of the city. The shalom of the city. This means that as we meet physical needs serving people as we share the Gospel message. Jesus Christ is the Giver of life and hope through His death, resurrection, and forgiveness of sins. We must be prepared to address systemic poverty, institutional racism, police corruption, crime, and mistrust in our city. The root of these challenges lies deep in the human heart that can only be changed by the love of Jesus Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a fresh perspective. Ask God to give you eyes to see people as image bearers of the Creator who loves them, especially as you meet people who may be different than you racially, culturally, socioeconomically, politically, and yes, even in religious beliefs.