In 2010, CCC felt God calling us to serve more effectively in the section of our city called North Omaha, with the goal of bringing whole-life transformation only a relationship with Jesus can bring. As we considered what that might mean two important values rose to the surface. First, we decided we did not want to start our own ministry but instead wanted to partner with someone in North Omaha who already had a track record of effective, transformational ministry. Second, since God's plan for the world is the local church, we felt that a local church in North Omaha must be part of the solution. This is when God brought CCC our key partner in North Omaha, Bridge Church (read below to learn more about Bridge). Bridge is located right in the heart of North Omaha and already had a strategy to transform this part of our city by asking other churches around the city to adopt-a-neighborhood.
In the summer of 2011 CCC adopted an area between 30th and 38th streets, from Hamilton to Parker, and called it Village One. This area is perfectly suited for CCC as Compass Ministries, an after-school program started by CCC, was already located in Village One, and Bridge Church is only a few blocks to the North. CCC's strategy in Village One is very simple: We desire to attract people into the arms of Jesus through Bridge Church. This means that whatever ways we are led to serve and minister in Village One, we always do so under the umbrella of Bridge Church. If through our service and our love a person or family living in Village One is attracted to Jesus, the best place for them to find Jesus is through a neighborhood church that will be culturally relevant for their lives.
When CCC started ministering in Village One in 2011 barely anyone in the neighborhood knew where Bridge church was located. Today, almost everyone in Village One knows Bridge church and a number of families have started attending Bridge each week. Since CCC started our ministry in Village One over 1,000 volunteers have participated in one of our many opportunities to serve. Volunteers from CCC have put on block parties, held in-the-park BBQ's, renovated a broken down house, mowed lawns, painted house, put on a VBS, put on Halloween fall festivals, adopted families at Christmas, sang Christmas carols throughout the neighborhood, held neighborhood cleanups, prayed with people door-to-door, and much more.
CCC is committed to a long-term approach in Village as we believe that God is using Bridge Church and Christ Community Church to bring life to the Village One neighborhoods.
CCC has developed a very unique relationship with Bridge Church (www.bridgeomaha.org) in that all of our work and ministry in Village One is done on their behalf. As we bless the people living in Village One and seek to lead them to Jesus through our love and actions, we believe they need a local church where they can find Jesus and be discipled. Bridge is located just a few blocks north of Village One and they participate in all of our Village One ministry activities and events.
Bridge has been building a partnership strategy in North Omaha since 2010, asking churches like CCC to adopt neighborhoods, which is essentially one city block. Today Bridge has over 10 churches who have adopted 82 different neighborhoods, 33 of which are adopted by CCC in Village One. In 2010 when CCC began working with Bridge they had about 150 people attending church on Sunday morning, but today they are averaging over 400 in attendance. CCC will continue to bless the Village One community in any way we can to show the love of Jesus with the goal of attracting people into the arms of Jesus through Bridge church.
Of all the service projects and activities that CCC performs in Village One each year, our signature event is called Step Into Village One. This is a huge neighborhood work day where 500 to 700 people from CCC on a Sunday afternoon step out of their seats and into the streets of Village One to love and to serve. This day includes house painting, lawn mowing, praying door to door, and a variety of other neighborhood projects, all culminated by a huge neighborhood block party. This block party attracts approximately 1,000 people from the neighborhood as we serve food, have fun and game, a live band, line dancing, face painting, prizes, and more. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide a safe, positive atmosphere of fun and fellowship as we seek to promote the name of Jesus.
As part of CCC's ministry in Village One we wanted to bring restoration to a community with so much brokenness. One way in which we have done this is by helping Bridge buy a broken down, abandoned house at 3526 Seward Street for just $10,000. Since January of 2012 CCC has been sending work teams 2 to 4 times per month to completely renovate this house, including a new roof, new walls, new floors, and just about everything else.
When this house is completed in June of 2013, Bridge will place one of their key leadership families in this house to serve as a missionary in that local neighborhood. Over the last 10 years Bridge has worked with many organizations and churches like CCC in renovating over 20 houses. This brings redemption to broken down properties, helps to revitalize neighborhoods, and allows a mission minded family to move into the house with the goal of reaching their neighbors for Christ.