The Difference One Can Make – Borderline Situation
Key Bible Verse: Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness. – James 3:18
Bonus Reading: Nehemiah 6:1-13
Aqeela Sherrills lived in Watts, a part of Los Angeles ravaged by feuding youth gangs. His neighborhood was wedged between a district dominated by the Bloods and another by the Crips, with bystanders often caught in the crossfire. He escaped Watts by going east to college.
But there Aqeela became convinced that he was created to make a difference in gangland. So he returned to L.A. in 1989 and organized members of his neighborhood to agitate for “Peace for Peace’s Sake.”
“Both gangs tolerated us,” Aqeela said, “allowing us to march, even listening to our rhetoric.” At first nothing changed. But they joined forces with football great Jim Brown to form Amer-I-Can. In it, older men began mentoring younger men, steering them toward positive goals.
Then Aqeela and his brother, Daude, held a meeting to motivate the group to appeal directly to the gangs. “We were afraid for our lives,” Aqeela said. “But I said to the group, ‘We’re on the border. So we should be the ones to stand between the Bloods and Crips and bring the neighborhoods together.’
We committed to march into both territories with a message of reconciliation.” Their intervention led to a “peace treaty,” and eventually to reconciliation.
—Everett Worthington Jr. in Forgiving and Reconciling
My Response: I’ll ask God to show me for what I was created to make a difference.
Adapted from Forgiving and Reconciling (InterVarsity, 2003)