By Scott Egan '94
For as long as I can remember, I’ve rooted for the underdog. David fells Goliath (1 Samuel 17). The 2001 New England Patriots stun the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. I love an upset; it makes for a much better story.
I was undersized and under-coordinated as a boy, a lethal combination in the unforgiving world of elementary school and middle school, where the stronger and more athletic thrive and guys like me are pushed aside. It cultivated in me, even as a kid, a soft spot for those who are marginalized. Those kids who stood on the sidelines waiting for a chance to play. Those who hung out in the background so they would not have to play—trying to avoid another opportunity to be rejected and made fun of. Those who never quite found their place, never felt like they really fit in anywhere.
In July I moved my family halfway across the country to serve underdogs. For 12 years my wife, Dawn, and I had lived in southeastern Massachusetts, raising our family of four children and serving part-time as youth directors at Church in the Pines, a growing church in West Wareham. At the time we couldn’t think of a place better to raise our children, to serve and build youth and families to follow Jesus, and to grow in community.
So, at the end of February, when the call came from Pastor Donnie Lane Jr. of Citychurch Outreach in Amarillo, Texas, we began a long process of praying and searching out what the Lord was calling our family to next. We could remain in our comfortable and beautiful New England church family where we felt secure, or we could respond to the call of God and begin a new and dangerous adventure at Citychurch, a ministry reaching out to the poorest and most disadvantaged children on the urban streets of the west Texas panhandle.
In the end we responded to God’s call to a very different kind of youth work. When we arrived in July, we landed right in the thick of the busiest time at Citychurch. Every week during the summer, church youth groups from all over come to serve, delivering meals on bicycles to children in the neighborhoods and leading Vacation Bible School in the park. Through our bike ministry/feeding program, we deliver over 2,100 meals to hungry children every day during the summer—over a year, 150,000 meals.
For 17 years Citychurch Outreach has been loving the young underdogs of the poorest neighborhoods of North Amarillo. Many of these children wake up every day to conditions we can barely imagine: poverty, hunger, drug and alcohol abuse, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Many have been abandoned by their families, the very ones who are intended to nurture them, protect them and strengthen them into the men and women that God intends them to be.
Citychurch brings “Help and Hope” to these marginalized children every day. We deliver help in order that we might convey hope—the hope that can be found only in a real and personal encounter with the living Christ. Everything we do at Citychurch is designed to bring children and their families into an encounter with the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. Only He can redeem the devastating effects these neighborhoods have had on their lives.
A youth ministries major while at Gordon, Scott Egan has worked in various campus ministries and local churches for the past 23 years.