Thursday, May 15, 2014

From OWH
The tragic death of 16-year-old Aquilee Muse helps increase awareness of the issue of youth fights & beatings...where kids don't think about the future consequences of their actions.

From the media reports it appears that the two guys initiating the fight had no intention of killing Aquilee. Now two teens with no criminal records, one a state champion wrestler, caused the death of another teenager and seriously threatened their own futures and life plans... all because they didn't think through the potential consequences of their actions.

While a public PrayerWalk onsite within 24-48 hours is our usual response to murder, we have learned that it is not always the most effective way to help reduce violence.

We feel that the best First Responders response is a brief 
First Responders PrayerWalk in conjunction with the Omaha 360 Harmony Week: 
We will help open the "Peace in the Streets" Community Rally & Family Event
Saturday, May 24th at Fontenelle Park 
1:00 PM (event goes until 4:00). 
Click Here for Event and Harmony Week Brochure
This gives us an opportunity to speak and pray into this type of youth violence with a much larger group of youth and their families. 

We are working on details and will send out an announcement with the details.

Here are two links to news reports on this tragic assault:
WOWT: 16 Year Old Boy Extremely Critical After Assault 
OWH: 2 Central High students make first court appearances in fight that led to teen's death

Special Update from the PrayerWalk for Amanda Brown Thursday, May 8th:

Last week on Wednesday evening I went by the area to find a place to meet and get a feel for how to proceed. I was able to talk to two of Amanda's friends from the homeless community and they agreed to spread the word about the PrayerWalk. I also connected with and invited several groups who work with the homeless.

At the PW Thursday the people who care for homeless people knew Amanda and brought people who were once or still homeless and knew Amanda...but I did not see the two guys I had talked to the night before who said they would bring more friends... Captain Belcastro was there as well as Crime Stopper Officers plus Joel and Cameron who come regularly from the mayors personal team.

We asked people who knew Amanda to share memories and then how we could pray for them...we got some very insightful thoughts I will share another time. After praying for and with them we got all the people who care for the homeless in the center and prayed encouragement and blessings on them. We closed by praying for Justice and that the perpetrator would be arrested and the next day he was arrested.

I hung around afterwards to talk with Amanda's friends when those two guys from the night before showed up and told me that a bunch more were coming...but everyone on my team was gone except Capt Belcastro, Steve Stout and Heidi Sampson... We ended up doing a second PrayerWalk with over twice as many homeless friends of Amanda as in the first one. This reinforces the insight of patience...that it often takes time for things to develop...grieving families and friends don't always show up when scheduled plus it often takes time to build some trust before people open to deeper ministry from strangers.

I came away with some new insights as well as some new a special new friend, Jennifer Ethridge, who heads the Homeless Clinic for the Charles Drew Health Center...she seeks out the homeless and their campsites and among other things tries to get medications to people who have ongoing medical conditions.