FERGUSON, Mo. – If you drive through pockets of Ferguson, smiles are few and far between. But a special bond between two pastors, one black and one white, is a bright spot during the darkness in Ferguson.
They've been friends for seven years and have teamed up to provide "Healthy Play Time" for students in Ferguson after school was canceled due to violence in the area.
They provide free lunches, games, and counseling at Wellspring United Methodist Church where Johnson is pastor.
"Our task is to meet needs at the time they exist with an unconditional love," Pastor F. Willis Johnson said. "It can be a burden but it is also a distinct privilege. I think it is important that we model and witness as we are, who we are."
Matt Miofsky, who is the lead pastor at the Gathering United Methodist Church, said rebuilding Ferguson is similar to a child building a masterpiece with blocks. Too often, the project tumbles before completion. But the tumble forces people to persevere.
"One of the things that Ferguson is exposing is there are a lot of people that want to do something but there is no relationship," Matt Miofsky said. "God calls us to be reconcilers at bridging what is divided and put things back together."
The doors at Wellspring, 33 S Florissant, will remain open for students from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on the days school is closed.