Hope House Helping Inner City Kids - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hope House Helping Inner City Kids

"Matthew says we need to go out and find the people that need Jesus. And that's what we've done," co-founder Teresa Pierce says.      

It starts every Sunday morning with an early morning breakfast sandwich, but the Hope House provides more than just food for these inner city youth.   

"Before I came here, I wasn't doing too good in school, in my conduct and behavior. But when I came here and got saved, it's like my life just turned around," 13 year old Travis Lewis says.      

Kids like Travis have relied on this ministry for years thanks to husband-and-wife pastor team of Teresa and Gary Pierce. They recognize the importance of a kid-friendly church service.       

"If we don't catch the five year olds before they get to be 15 year olds, then many times they've already experienced what's out there to experience. The drugs, the alcohol, the sex," Pierce says.   

"I used to be out in the streets a lot hanging with the wrong crowd at the wrong time doing the wrong thing.  Now I'm in church, I don't have time to do the wrong things I used to do, cuz now I'm in church," 15-year old Arneshia Jenkins says.   

Through worship service and activities like basketball and pool, Hope House ministers to kids of all ages. But it's not just about fun and games. It's a safe place for kids like Travis and Arneshia to learn about the Lord.      

"When you come here, you ain't got to worry about nobody talking about you or trying to fight you. It's like a place of peace. You know when you come here, you're safe. It's like you're in your safe spot. It's just the place you need to be," Jenkins says.      

And as the kids dance and sing in their praise and worship time, they find that coming to church isn't just for adults. Pierce says she learns lessons from these kids every day.    

"These children are walking miracles. The change we see take place in their life is nothing short of miraculous," Pierce says.   

Leaders say they are always welcoming donations of time or money, especially around the holidays, when they prepare Thanksgiving dinners for the kids and their families.   

They also are looking for someone to help them create a website.  If you want to help in any way, just call the Hope House at 228-806-7324.       

By Keli Rabon

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