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Strong Desire

"Strong Desire" Continued...

Issue: "Goodbye again," June 9, 2007

WORLD Archives | Past stories on Desire Street Ministries

Spreading Desire

Mo Leverett feels like a veteran of war. The founder of Desire Street Ministries (DSM) labored in the trenches of New Orleans' beleaguered 9th Ward for more than 16 years, fighting the harrowing effects of poverty and sin with a gospel-based ministry aimed at urban youth. "The devil has had dominion there for so long, it's hard to come out unscathed," Leverett told WORLD.

Leverett came out sooner than he expected when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the 9th Ward and scattered the ministry in 2005. Late last year, Leverett, who is no longer with DSM, launched Rebirth International, a New Orleans-based ministry aimed at replicating the DSM model of urban renewal in other poverty-stricken areas around the country.

"I wish this was more of an impulse in the church," Leverett says of urban ministry to the poor. He hopes to educate churches and seminaries on methods for urban ministry and to develop an internship program to inspire a new generation of Christians who will do the hard work of inner-city ministry by living and working in the neighborhoods they serve.

Actually, Leverett says, this kind of ministry is "more than hard work. This is the cross. This is losing your life for the sake of others." But Leverett has learned firsthand: "There's no way for us to advance the cause of Christ without suffering."

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the national political beat and other topics as news editor for WORLD. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.

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