‘The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated, they will renew the ruined cities’ Isaiah 61:1, 3-4
Southwood is committed to EXPERIENCING AND EXPRESSING GRACE because we cannot share with others what we have not experienced ourselves, and once we have tasted God’s grace we cannot help but share it with others. From creation forward, God has a pattern of restoring broken people, and broken places. He establishes His kingdom by transforming the lives of His people, and then sending them into the rest of creation as agents of His restoration! As His agents, we are called to serve the ones God serves-bringing hope and healing both to people and to places. This is why Southwood has chosen to call our ministry efforts, both locally and globally, 'Community Development.’ Grace-based, developmental thinking means a holistic worldview that sees both spiritual and physical poverty as interconnected results of the Fall of Man. Community development implies working to alleviate these effects of the fall both individually and systemically.