Anyone who has seen or experienced birthing a child will tell you it's not easy. There's pain, sacrifice, and endurance that's required. The following is the story of how the ministry, Skyway Railroad, was birthed. According to our blog monitor, this is a 5 minute read :) We value that investment from you!
Our founders (a Christian couple) have decided to have a soft launch of the ministry on 4/2/18 to celebrate the BIRTHday of one of our founders. We are officially a corporation in the state of Tennessee with our tax exempt status pending with the IRS.
Let us formally introduce ourselves and why we have launched this ministry, if you're new to the Skyway. In February of 1999 the wife of our founding couple started her career in largest and first Juvenile Court in the country, Chicago. She served as a juvenile probation officer in one of Chicago's highest crime districts and quickly learned she had a heart for girls entering the system and wanted to be part of larger, systemic change. Chicago is a national model for detention reform and the de-institutionalization of kids of color, so she was in the right place, at the right time.
While continuing as a juvenile probation officer, she became a part-time law student and volunteered extensively in her community and church. After graduating and becoming a licensed attorney she was promoted to supervise the probation department's gender responsive unit. As a result of her leadership, she soon became the youngest and least tenured person to get promoted as Deputy Chief where she held many leadership positions.
At the pinnacle of her career (when she was making six figures and being groomed for higher positions) she and her family took a leap of faith in 2013 to go into full time ministry. She left everything for a dream God showed her years before. For the next three years she managed 15 multi-faceted housing and outreach ministries facilitated by her church in Chicago that reached 95,000 annually, including 94 beds for our society's most marginalized individuals.
Our other founder (the husband) has over 20 years experience in ministry as a pastor and evangelist in the toughest urban communities. He's worked in the public school systems (Chicago and Memphis) for over 20 years where he's served in many capacities in inner city schools including: the Dean of Student Support, Head of Security Operations, and a Bilingual (Spanish Speaking) Mentor. He has a one of a kind gift and natural ability for reaching and mentoring gang members, delinquent youth, and their families...in reality - reaching anyone he comes in contact with! To know him is to love him! For over 10 years he and his wife ministered and mentored hundreds of children, youth, and families living in Chicago's most impoverished and crime ridden housing projects through their leadership as a bus ministry pastor and leader.
In 2016 our founders took another leap of faith when God called them to relocate to Tennessee and assist a church with a growing non-profit. At the conclusion of that assignment at the end of 2017, they began birthing the Skyway Railroad.
As you can see our leaders truly have a call of radical faith to reach, rescue, and restore the broken, battered, and bruised with the gospel of Jesus Christ. When Jesus called His disciples, they were working in their trade and He told them to leave everything and follow Him. Our founders' journey has depicted this call as Jesus' disciples! They've left it all, are following Jesus' plan for their life and know God's going to send the people, connections, and resources to make the vision He's shown come to pass, all for His glory.
We have enough lawyers and enough deans in schools... our founders want to be God's vessels and ambassadors to see radical change happen in our communities that we believe can only take place through the gospel. We believe, like the Bible teaches, that the church of Jesus Christ holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven. As believers, we hold the answer to reform our communities. The ministry's goal is to break silos and unite Christian nonprofits nationally so we can push back the gates of Hell with the resurrection power that Jesus confirms lives in the body of Christ.
We cannot start a fire and revival in our communities, in our cities, in our states, and in our nation if we are divided as a church. The enemy has attacked the credibility and people of the church for far too long. It's time for this generation to break through the defeat plaguing our nation and speak life into the modern day slavery's that're keeping so many bound: poverty, addiction, trafficking, crime and mental health.
Here's where you come in. On our official soft launch day, let's wish one of our founders a Happy Birthday by helping them birth God's dream and vision. We truly cannot do this without your monthly support, generosity, and prayers. Don't be misled to think that your monthly contribution would be too small to make a difference.
The most successful non-profits are built on layers and layers of people who collectively give to the mission. Their funding streams are diversified. We don't want to overly depend on large government, corporate grants, or one single church to finance the vision. Just like our goal is to break silos and unite as a body to restore broken communities, we also want our funding to be diversified. You are that diversity in funding. Each one of us, donating our portion monthly to fund the overall vision.
So, if we know you and you believe in the calls on our lives, we're asking you to join us so we can continue to serve in the mission field and start an eternal fire. If you don't know us personally and stumbled upon our ministry, we're so glad God led you here and you invested time in reading this Birthing Blog. We'd love the opportunity to connect with you and make you part of the Skyway family.
The vision may seem big and overwhelming and unattainable...but we serve a BIG God who specializes in the impossible. I'm sure you've heard it said: "If your dreams don't scare you, they're too small." Collectively, dollar by dollar, we hold the key to revival.
Where will your money go?
We are trusting the Lord for monthly sponsors and donors to help us launch these visions:
National and local outreach supplies to reach those ensnared in human trafficking
Skyway Connect - see here for more information
Transportation costs for trafficking victims nationally to relocate away from their trafficker to a safe house
National Placement Coordinator to help Christian ministries place those rescued who are bound in any of the modern day slavery's we combat
Super Bowl Outreaches to reach, rescue, and place those flown in and trafficked the week of the game
Publishing costs associated with "Voices Outside the Stadium." More information here
Acquiring large area of donated land in Tennessee's Fayette or Tipton Counties to operate evidence and Christ based residential programs for individuals nation wide for the following populations: those being trafficked; teen home; addiction recovery homes for men, women, and single mothers; and transitional living
Gang intervention and mentoring in Memphis, Tennessee with a goal to replicate Christ based model nationally
Thank you for your generosity and helping us to celebrate the soft launch and birthing of the Skyway Railroad on the birthday of one of our founders. Happy Birthday to the both of you!
Oh, and we have something special going on until May 2, 2018. If you donate over $100 you’ll receive a free copy of our “Voices Outside the Stadium” book (once published through your generosity) and if you’re one of the first 10 to donate $48 you’ll also receive a free copy. Why $48? Read this blog to learn more.
Remember to check re-occurring to become one of our faithful monthly sponsors that we need to publish the book and launch and sustain the ministry.