The vision of GreenTree really began when we relocated to downtown Winston-Salem in the spring of 2006. We were surrounded by a veritable patchwork quilt of neighborhoods from many different cultural and socioeconomic brackets. After we bought property on Broad Street, God led us to establish a community center. People began to show up off the street for a cup of coffee. A lonely woman with a banged-up past, a man pushed to the street by job loss, or a family splintered to pieces by broken trust: people who needed friendship walked into GreenTree and felt safe enough to talk about it. People started not feeling so lonely, people with long-historic bruises started to heal in a melting pot of family. People started to get some hope, addressing their addictions, problems, fears, because everybody sitting in that melting pot of family admitted they had problems too.
Here at GreenTree, we’ve learned the language of “we.” Some of us have spent time in jail because of mistakes we have made. Some of us are on the brink of poverty. Some of us struggle with mental illness. Some of us go shopping too much and max out our credit cards. Some of us look a little neater on the outside, or have some structure in place, so we’re better able to lend a hand in certain ways. Others of us know what it feels like to have been in a gang and longed for family, walked on the streets and felt the sharp cold on the raw side of life. Those of us who have suffered that kind of misfortune know what it feels like, and we offer that gift. Some of us have artistic gifts to give and we bathe the place in color, but our emotions are fragile. We need the emotionally strong to help us. We all have varied strengths and weaknesses. We’re all people, not disorders, not numbers, not “missions.”
GreenTree has a unique vision and purpose. We long to embrace our neighbors, from all walks of life, in equality, celebrating our diversity while striving for unity. We come from different levels of education and understanding, so we need for the Bible to be taught to us in a way that we can grasp deeply and apply to the practice of our daily lives. Instead of placing our funds into programs and buildings, we strive to use resources efficiently and share what we have, from laundry to vehicles to groceries. We learn and grow, not with lectures and systems, but by sharing life through friendship discipleship.
Please pray for our GreenTree family: for mature people who can be leaders, and for mentors who can assist others with life skills as well as spiritual development. If you’d like to consider joining with us in our pioneering efforts, we’d love to have you walk alongside us in this great adventure.