Jesus Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God By: Mark Galli
Patricia Watkins is a minister for Ambassadors for Christ World Outreach Ministries, a Pentecostal church on the South Side of Chicago. She was tired of the violence and drug dealing in the church's neighborhood, so she organized community meetings on the corner of 78th Street and Hermitage Avenue. The church wanted to reclaim the corner by their presence and their prayers.
People from the church pitched a tent, set up chairs, and started talking about the problems and needs of the block. Some nights thirty people showed up, other nights, many more. Ministers from nearby churches led worship services. Adults tutored children in reading and math. Police and prosecutors came out to support the residents, especially when they marched through the streets shouting, "Whose streets? Our streets!"
One evening as a tent meeting was breaking up, a drug boss ordered his crew back to the streets. It was safe. The cops and most of the preachers were gone. But Watkins had not left, and she didn't like what she was seeing. She confronted the boss.
"Son, do you know why we're out here?" she asked. He shrugged. "We're out here trying to save your life," she continued. "How old are you?"
He said he was 17. She replied, "You've got to help us help you."
That's when Watkins says she noticed a car slowly approaching. The driver was looking around nervously. The teenager Watkins had been talking to walked over to the driver. When Watkins realized a drug deal was going on, she grabbed a bullhorn.1