I had the privilege to sit down for coffee with Miss Colleen, as she is fondly known in her neighborhood, to talk about her life and ministry. I have known Colleen for several years now, as we used to go to the same church and now God has brought us both to ministry in Baltimore City. Colleen moved from the suburbs into East Baltimore, one of the toughest parts of the city, to live life with the people in her neighborhood. She is the director of GEM ministry (Gospel, Education, Mentoring) which includes a weekly kids club for the kids, where they play games, make crafts, and are taught a lesson from the Bible. Colleen has a dinner group where she will bring some kids to the grocery store and teach them how to buy groceries and then together they go back to Colleen’s house to cook dinner and have a Bible study. She drives kids to school, has coffee dates with them, and has even given a bedroom makeover to some of them!
The love isn’t only from Colleen to the people of the neighborhood. The kids and parents love Colleen too. Colleen’s kitchen window has become a hangout spot for the whole neighborhood. Kids and adults come to say hi, see what’s going on, or ask advice. This year has been exciting but has also had some difficult times. Sadly, Colleen had to plan a funeral for one of her kids who was shot and killed. After a lot of prayer Colleen started a new endeavor, becoming a foster parent. God laid on her heart that the spare bedroom is supposed to have a kid live in it, not just a guest, so she took the classes and after a long process is now approved to be a foster parent! Colleen’s passion for the people of Baltimore overflowed from her heart as she talked about how there are so many broken kids in bad situations that need someone to love them and guide them through life and how she is patiently waiting for her extra bedroom to be filled with one of them.
This summer Colleen is hosting teams to serve within her neighborhood and with GEM ministry. If you want to hear more about Colleen’s ministry you can contact us, or check out GEM Ministry online at www.gembaltimore.com.