Published on October 18, 2013
After violent crimes in the community, the Office of Justice and Peace joins with members of the NOPD and other community organizations for R.E.S.E.T. The R.E.S.E.T. Action Team deploys into the area of the crime to assist surviving witnesses, family members, and other associates of the murder victim who are coping with the aftermath of a violent death. Kristina Gibson, program Director of Isaiah 43 mentoring program joined with them yesterday evening for a R.E.S.E.T. walk and shares her experience:
On October 17, 2013, about 17 people from various community organizations came together in the 7th ward to walk the community and offer support to residents as part of Operation R.E.S.E.T. We gathered in the wake of the shooting death over the weekend of yet another young African-American man. As we knocked on the doors of homes, one resident who lives just a block away from the murder scene was so happy to see us in her neighborhood offering resources and support. She, like others was saddened that another young person lost his life to a senseless act of violence.
“It has to stop!” she said as we stood on her front porch. She reminded us that we all come from God. “God created Adam and Eve; therefore we all come from God” she said. We listened as she went on about the need to help our young people resolve their conflicts and differences with one another through mediation and peace, instead of violence.
As she continued to speak with such wisdom and conviction, I couldn’t help but think of the passage from the prophet Isaiah which the Isaiah 43 Program is named after. “I have called you by name and you are mine… you are precious in my eyes and I love you.” (Isaiah 43: 1-4) Now more than ever, I believe that God is calling us to proclaim this scripture in our communities and work together to bring peace to our streets. As a faith community, we are charged to help our young people understand that each life is a precious gift from God and no matter what the situation, violence is not the answer.
Kristina Gibson is the Program Director for Isaiah 43, a parenting and mentoring program of the Archdiocese of New Orleans with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. The program offers support and guidance for struggling parents and vulnerable young people. http://www.isaiah43.org/
We give thanks for those in our ministries working to combat the violence with measures of peace and we continue to pray for an end to the culture of violence in our communities.