The kind of sickness we want to spread:

“Beaver Falls needs hope. I remember having a very extensive conversation about hope with Jack and Sonny. Many people think that to have hope is to invite defeat and disappointment. I have seen people get angry, I mean really upset and offended, at the hope that I have for BF’s. I mean think about it:  if you get enough people with enough hope that Beaver Falls can change, then it will. Wont it? Why wouldn’t it? If enough people in Beaver Falls are willing to commit to make a change not even the forces of Hell will be able to stop it from changing. It is how these things work…

So how do we pray for Beaver Falls in light of all this? I started a prayer group with The Soma Gathering that meets at the City House every other Sunday. One of the things we are committed to praying for is Beaver Falls, more specifically hope for Beaver Falls. What Beaver Falls really needs prayer for is a restoration of hope. We pray primarily for the people of Beaver Falls to find hope, to be restored, and to become a people who restore. We pray that the people of Beaver Falls would begin to unify to come together with a vision of restoration for the city.

 The primary thing that Christians can offer the city of Beaver Falls, or any city for that matter, is hope. By their very nature Christians have a hope in something that enables there to be real restoration, real healing and real transformation. Jesus. Deanna was talking about how she feels like a lot of this isn’t possible without Jesus. I agree with her. Beaver Falls, any and all places need Christians. Perhaps this is a bold claim, but I believe it. Beaver Falls needs active and engaged Christians who to spread hope like a sickness!”

 -Zack

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This place is not without hope.

      “Strange as it sounds, I’ve come to like it here. I can’t call it a place I love, but it’s got an air of familiarity about it. I know the streets and the faces of various people, the stores that are still open for business, and the few gems the town still claims—like the 75 year old donut shop, Orams. Living in Beaver Falls has taught me to abandon some premonitions I have about people that I never even knew I had. When I pluck up the courage to say hi to people on the street, more often than not I’ll get a friendly “How ya doing?” right back. Poor people aren’t mean people. I’ve never thought that consciously, at all, but we get raised to be afraid, and that’s the truth of it. Mostly people feel stuck here, which is sad. Bitterness and even a sense of hopelessness emanates from the people and the buildings, the weeds in the front lawns and the dozens of closed churches. It seems almost like a place of mourning, always mourning the past.

            But this place is not without hope. There are several groups of people who are determined to live in and love Beaver Falls, and give to this place what they can. And honestly, this is a good place. It’s built for the old, communal sort of city living instead of the new metropolis existence or the private-life suburbs. It’s easy to navigate and right next to a beautiful river (though it’s been badly polluted in the past and relatively ignored lately). There’s also great familiarity between people since it’s a small area. Especially in the spring and summer, people spend most of their time on their porches. You can’t walk down the street without spotting a dozen people out and about, sitting on the porch talking or our walking the dog on the sidewalk. It’s a porch culture, and these people aren’t shy about getting to know strangers. They’ll ask you to come on over to the porch and introduce yourself, or they’ll start a conversation with you without even knowing your name. For someone coming from the suburbs of Long Island, it’s a very different place to live… [But] it’s got the same sort of brokenness as anywhere else, just wearing different clothes than I’m used to.”

-Deanna