Sonja Sampson: Escaping the Darkness

Stories • January 24th, 2018
Sonja Sampson stood at a bus stop in Englewood and closed her eyes.   When she did, she tried to envision her future. She saw nothing. Just darkness. Just a blanket of black.   She tried again. She wanted to see something, to envision anything.   “You know, when you close your eyes, you might see somebody running past?” she says now, 15 years later. “It...
Read More

Protected: Acting Like Jesus

Stories • December 22nd, 2017
This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password: ...
Read More

A Professional Big Sister

Stories • October 27th, 2017
            On a recent Nav Night, in a room at the student center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Alejandra Villa raised her hand during an icebreaker game in which everyone had to describe something interesting about their footwear.   “This is Johnny,” she says, gesturing to the student standing next to her, “and his shoes have taken him across the...
Read More

From Asia to Ames to Chicago: How God Uses a Global Identity to Impact 20-Somethings

Stories • September 21st, 2017
Matt* wears a silver ring on his right hand etched with five ancient characters that means “citizen of heaven.”   Designed and given to him by his parents when he turned 21 years old and taken from Philippians 3:20, the ring in many ways symbolizes the intersections of his life. Born in East Asia, Matt spent 18 of his 22 years shaped by the Asian continent, both in surroundings...
Read More

A Home Away from Home

Stories • August 11th, 2017
Aaron and Amy Lee* treat their home in Chicago’s northern suburbs a little like they did their home in Africa: with openness. The backyard, suited for their three boys (and another little guy due in August), shouts invitation.   And that’s just how the refugee families they meet see it, too.     Not long ago, a refugee family they had met from Afghanistan...
Read More

Chicago On Their Hearts

Stories • July 18th, 2017
-how God moved a pair of newlyweds from Kansas City to the Windy City to make disciples-   The whisper from God for Sarah Gummig came four and a half years ago, when one of her best friends died.   A drunk driver killed her friend, Michelle, in a car accident.   At the time, Michelle, 24, had been lonely, Sarah remembered. She had wanted a Christ follower to...
Read More

Discipleship House: Re-entry, Recovery, and Relationship

Stories • May 31st, 2017
The Discipleship House, a two-story brick building on Fillmore, had no room for Donovan Sanders when he moved in last year. So he slept on the floor. Donovan knew he needed the shelter. He appreciated the community and the fellowship of Larry Hope, a Breaking Ground staffer who had moved in about a month before him. There was no way he wanted to go back to the prisons where he had spent...
Read More

Rap Sheet to Clean Street

Stories • January 1st, 2017
Antwan Candler keeps a printout of his prison record in the bag he carries to work every day at Breaking Ground in North Lawndale. In his prison photo, a 21-year-old young man stares out, his eyes dull and vacant, a little scruff on his chin.  Antwan’s vitals are there—born January 1984, brown eyes, 5 feet, 9 inches tall—and below that, the details of a life he once lived: criminal drug...
Read More