BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — “The church is not called to judge. That’s not our job. The church is called to love," said Robin Robinson.
Robin leads community development and church engagement for the nonprofit CityServe.
“Many churches don’t have the resources and the ability to really do what they’ve been called to do," she said.
That's why CityServe comes alongside churches, helping them meet the needs of those struggling in their neighborhoods.
Robin has a personal connection to this mission.
“I came out of drug addiction and recovery myself and really [was] rescued not just by the Lord, but also by God’s people, by the church," said Robin. "The church really came around me and that's what made a difference in my life.”
Robin said the support she received changed everything. Now she wants to do the same for others.
“The people that stepped into my life 35 years ago have been a part of my life for the last 35 years. When you survive the ugly, that’s when the fun happens," she said.
Churches are called PODs or points of distribution. CityServe is the hub, providing them with resources.
Robin said they’ve distributed over 160,000 food boxes in Kern County. But there's more to it than materials.
“The only way you’re going to speak into someone’s life is through [relationships]. We have to get close. We have to get close to people," she said. "And when it’s hard and when it’s messy, stay in the game with people and see the end game for them”
CityServe also provides mentorship while helping people get educations, and find housing and employment.
Robin said it’s all about meeting people where they are in life and giving them what they need, just like others did for her.
“Whether we’re broken, not broken, whoever we are…. we need relationships," she said.
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