Step Up To The Streets

Taking a step into the city is a pretty radical idea for someone from a small town. Living rurally means hopping into your car, knowing exactly where it will lead you. But in the city there is a unique form of transportation: the bus. And while it ultimately takes you where you need to go, you never know where it might lead.

Almost eight years ago, Andrew Farie stepped up onto a bus while visiting prospective colleges in Cincinnati. Being from a country town, he wasn’t entirely sure where this bus would lead. But two things he did know: he wanted pizza and the bus downtown would take him there. After stepping out of the bus, Andrew saw a diverse community, something much different than his hometown of Mt. Vernon, Ohio.

After satisfying his pizza craving, Andrew stepped back onto a bus to return to campus. But this time he opened his eyes to the dynamics of the bus. After taking his seat, a rough looking man next to Andrew started a conversation with him.

“Hey buddy, I see you have some extra pizza there. Could I have a piece?”

“Um, I guess so.”

“Thanks, my man. And do you have some money to spare? I’ve had it rough these days.”

For the first time, Andrew interacted with a community different than his own and it forever changed his life. But that bus ride was just the first step. His next step was enrolling as a student at Cincinnati Christian University where he learned to love the city passionately. While in school, Andrew became involved with BLOC Ministries, an organization that works with inner city youth. And upon his graduation from CCU in 2009, Andrew took another decisive step: to serve full-time as an employee of BLOC Ministries, living in the inner-city.

It hasn’t been easy as there are always challenges associated with urban ministry (there was a drive-by shooting in front of his house just days after he moved in). While the distance between Mt. Vernon and Cincinnati is great, Andrew has cultivated an unshakeable love for this city and its people. Now, three years after graduation, Andrew keeps in step daily with the struggling residents of his neighborhood.

Andrew took the step onto a bus, which led to him to the steps of CCU and eventually his stepping into the very neighborhood of people on the bus.

“What I believed going in to CCU was different from what I became. Simple steps to change my life by following God’s guidance.”

Where will your steps lead you?

Written by Nate Kline, 2011 graduate, M.A. student at Cincinnati Bible Seminary.