One Year Devotionals Bring Hope to the ‘City That Hope Forgot’

Camden Christmas

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.
– Maya Angelou

Across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Camden, NJ was once home to New York Shipbuilding, the world’s largest shipbuilder. Walt Wittman, American poet, essayist and journalist, referred to the city as “a city invincible”. Over time, the city began to lose its industrial edge as shipping gave way to faster modes of transportation, including airplanes and trains. (News One)

This once bustling commercial hub is now considered the poorest city in America and often called “The city that hope forgot”. NBC News reported last year that an estimated 42% of the city’s population lives below the poverty line, with an average income of $26,000 a year. Twenty-two percent of the population earns less than $10,000 per year. This is a striking divergence from the rest of New Jersey, where the average household income is $71,000 per year. Camden is also one of the top 100 most dangerous cities in the U.S. with one of the highest crime rates compared to all communities of all sizes. (NeighborhoodScout)

But there is more to Camden than what’s seen on the news, and Tyndale witnessed this firsthand. This Christmas, fifty volunteers from St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Camden, and Grace Episcopal Church, Haddonfield worked together to make Christmas the best Christmas 80+ kids from the Cramer Hills area had ever enjoyed. Their hope was to create a holiday experience that would spark conversations and friendships, two key ingredients needed for change.

On Sunday, December 6, 2015, Camden kids were invited to meet St. Nicholas and ask him for a special Christmas gift. During the month of December, the Camden Christmas committee met with families, listened to their stories, and formed lasting relationships.

On Sunday, January 4, 2016, the kids received their gifts from The Three Kings. As a part of the gift giving initiative, Tyndale provided copies of The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers, The One Year My Princess Devotions, The One Year Devotions for Kids, The One Year Devos for Girls, The One Year Devotions for Active Boys, and The One Year Devos for Teens. These devotionals guide children through the Bible with stories, application questions, and memory verses. Hoping to encourage children and parents alike, Tyndale was overjoyed to supply the gifts. Stay tuned for photos! 

In today’s world, encouragement is much needed. Tyndale is blessed to participate in projects like this all over the world, and is grateful for the ways you make this possible. Please join us in prayer as we prepared for the next Camden Christmas in 2016!

Joy Reschke

Joy Reschke

Joy serves as the Digital Marketing Specialist at Tyndale House Publishers. As a digi-hostess, she enjoys interpersonal communication, email marketing, and customer journey mapping. In her spare time, Joy runs, reads, and travels.