Sean Murphy – Sunshine Gospel Ministries
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Meet Sean Murphy – a member of River Oaks for the past 6 years with his family. Sean is a missionary… but he doesn’t live or commute internationally. Sean is a missionary in Urban Ministry and has found himself called to many inter-city opportunities; Jackson Park Ministry in Charlotte NC for 8 ½ years, Sunshine Gospel Ministry in Chicago IL for 6 years, Guidance Ministries in Elkhart IN for 2 years and now is back at Sunshine Gospel Ministry in Chicago IL for the past year.
Sean’s heart is drawn to the poor, disadvantaged, and spiritually lost that live amongst and around us. If you spend 10 minutes with Sean, you will experience his passion for these needs in that 10 minute conversation.
Sean is presently working at Sunshine Gospel Ministry in the Woodlawn area of South Chicago. Woodlawn is a neighborhood of approximately 2 square miles and a population of roughly 35,000 people. I had the opportunity to visit Sean at work last month and it was eye opening, impressive and inspiring. First, just to visit the modest facility that Sunshine occupies and see the pictures of the building before renovation and hear the stories of volunteer help to transform it into what it is today is truly uplifting. Conversely, to hear that a local high school is being closed and to hear the irony of the school described by the director of Sunshine Gospel Ministry as “Pretty amazing modern building, beautiful park setting, and a 16% graduation rate” will make your heart sink as you get a glimpse of the challenges of the neighborhood. As we toured the Woodlawn area Sean described the lack of work opportunities for adults and lack of activities for kids that lead crime and violence to this small community – “a place with far too little hope and opportunity”… but in the middle of it all is SUNSHINE!
Sunshine Gospel Ministry has a plan – give to the community what it needs so you can make personal contact with the people of the community and give them what God wants them to have… the gospel and salvation. Sunshine has three major program initiatives that serve the needs of Woodlawn and allow Sunshine to spread the gospel and spiritual growth to their clients;
Youth Outreach – music, arts, camp, bible school, tutoring, etc to help the kids of the area find productive use for their time which keeps them away from negative influences they have to live around. The afterschool programming of Sunshine with its new partner Young Life now provides opportunity for kids grades 2nd through 12th.
Community Technology Center – internet café, computer classes, and resume assistance. Most adults in the Woodlawn area do not have computers or access to computers. Sunshine provides a means for adults to bolster their skills and gain better access to the job market.
Bridge Builders – bringing people, young and old, from outside the inter-city urban area right into the middle of it all for mutual growth and development. Sunshine uses this program to break the isolation of their urban area. Unique to this program is the mutual benefit to the community and Bridge Builder participants that immerse themselves in the short term hands-on urban ministry.
If you have the opportunity, please talk with Sean to learn more about his work. And if you really want to bless yourself, please arrange a visit to Sunshine Gospel Ministry on your next visit to the Chicago area. More information can be found at www.sunshinegospel.org
If you would like to donate to the support of Sean’s ministry – you may make donations marked for Sean Murphy to;
Sunshine Gospel Ministries
PO Box 377939
Chicago, IL 60637
Posting Contributed by: Todd Lozier