Hi! My name is Ali and I am the founder and director of The City's Gospel. This year, we're going to be writing more articles, letting you in Behind the Scenes, and updating you all on some incredible things the Lord is doing. But first, let me tell you about us, The City's Gospel.
I didn't really have a goal when creating this ministry, let alone calling it a ministry. It was just something I wanted to do because my curious mind would not shut up. However, the Lord built up something I could have never imagined in a billion years. I don't say that lightly. For one, I am not a photographer, graphic designer, website designer, videographer, and I also don't say that with false humility - it's true! I was just a confused college student with a camera and an apple computer. I am a girl who dreams and loves Jesus - He did make me a dreamer.
As I was building this website, the vision, creating something/anything, God really came and showed me the core vision and values of what The City's Gospel will be: "Passionately pursuing photography and storytelling for the advancement of The Gospel on the streets of Chicago while creating content to propel evangelism revitalization in Christian Culture."
I didn't create The City's Gospel on my own. It was a "one-woman-show" with hundreds of players behind the scenes.
It was the friends that got me into photography, it was my mentor who encouraged me to pursue these crazy dreams, my best friend who sat with me til' 3 am storming up this idea, the strangers that said 'no leave me alone' to my face and the strangers that reluctantly said yes. The strangers whose stories were so raw they set me back in tears, the ones hurt by the church, the ones whose whole life was destroyed by religion, the testimonies of how Jesus came and saved. It was my friends taking a chance on making this their Practical Christian Ministry at Moody Bible Institute, it was my ministry coach who never stopped pushing me to create and draw out the leader he saw in me, it was my mom who's "I'm so proud of you" made me cry and push harder.
It is my new team. My team of 10 students who are legit photographers, journalists, videographers, theologians, evangelists and graphic designers. They are the ones on the front-lines of this ministry, going out and sharing the Gospel. I took a week in Chicago to do their orientations and I could've cried every second I was with them because I was so overwhelmed by what God is doing. Fun fact: I had no idea what I was doing (haha sorry guys). I don't know how to be a director of a ministry, I don't know all of my theology just yet, I don't know how to tell them all the technical stuff - but God does, and he provided. The one thing I do know how to do is to encourage and see dreams happen. I will fight for my team, be their prayer warrior and dream big things with them.
It is you, reading this article. Maybe you're a friend of mine, or just a person that came across this site. I think of you, to encourage your heart with these stories, to equip your mind with our evangelism resources. I come from a place where evangelism was never "my thing" and I thought it was weird to talk to strangers. But God completely opened my eyes by allowing me to see beyond myself and enter into his heart for the people that pass me by. He wants to give you eyes to see and so this is why we capture these stories. These people, whether they/you know it or not, are the Imago Dei.
Most importantly, it is God himself that allowed me to dream. He has chosen us to be ministers of the Gospel! He chooses to partner with us - not just me, not just The City's Gospel, but you too! We are nothing special, but he is sovereign over all. He calls us sons and daughters, to walk in his freedom, and to love on others fiercely because he poured out his love for us. We love God and we pray that we are good stewards of his grace and love, to extend that towards the strangers we encounter.
The City's Gospel isn't just my dream, but something we all want to see. In current culture and Christian culture, there is so much room to create, so why limit ourselves.
I can say on behalf of The City's Gospel team, we are excited to see what God will do this year. We pray that the stories we share will encourage your hearts, and move you to compassionate action. We eagerly desire to be moved by God.
We are, You are, The City's Gospel.
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