WE CARE Palestine
WE CARE Palestine is an initiative based on Community Renewal, Intl. (CRI), which began in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1994. Over the past 25 years, Shreveport has seen major crime drop up to 45 percent in the targeted areas where CRI has been at work. More than 50,000 people have joined the WE CARE Renewal Team of Shreveport/Bossier City.
Rev. Lynn Willhite read of Shreveport’s efforts more than 14 years ago when she was pastor at First United Methodist Church in Elkhart. Moved by the underlying spirit of the initiative “to love your neighbor as yourself,” Rev. Willhite desires to develop the same caring culture across the City of Palestine, where she was born and grew up.
When Willhite was growing up in this town of 18,000, it was a simpler time, where people sat on their front porches and kids played together on the street. “Today, most of us do not know our neighbors, and as a result, isolation, mistrust and crime increase.
“The ministry captured me because it was making a real difference in the community, not just putting Band-Aids on problems," she says."By helping people build relationships with their neighbors, they were fundamentally changing the culture of the community.”
“We want every citizen to be part of this movement to connect neighbors across the city through friendship and caring to radically change the future of Palestine,” she adds.