Is It Safe?
From time to time stories arise in the news that make some of our Motown Mission participants ask, "Why would we go to a place like that?" Recently one of those articles showed up again on Forbes.com and we've received some questions about Detroit being the "most dangerous city in America."
Our first response is always this: we would not be inviting groups to Detroit for mission and service experiences if we thought it was unsafe. This includes volunteer time spent at both our accommodation and project sites.
Our second response is always this: in our 9 years of Motown Mission trips we have not had any incident of crime, serious accident, or natural disaster that has negatively affected any volunteer team. And for this we always say prayers of thanksgiving!
Our next responses always circle back around to our biblical understanding of mission, justice, and shalom - what are the scriptural understandings of safety and security and calling that we rely on in this work? For us, we are here specifically because of the struggles Detroit faces. We are here to be a part of communities reconstructed, neighbors lifted up, and an alternative peace-filled reality exemplified in the name of Jesus Christ.
And those are the things that give us a deeper safety while welcoming friends to this city - by knowing our neighbors, and by neighbors knowing that we are there for the good of this place we are welcomed and protected by them. By working with well respected partners in these communities we are grafted into the conspiracy of goodness that is already happening here.
More than the 24-hour security personell at our homebase church, more than the on-site staff from partner organizations at worksites, more than any locks or gates we can hide behind - it is the relationships that we foster that bring the love of Christ and true safety to us and to the people of Detroit.
We hope that along with the stories about Detroit's struggles, folks will also check out the following to get a well-rounded understanding of this place we call home! Thanks for the questions and for your willingness to join us in these efforts.