My Time in Inner City Baltimore


Charm City is what they call it. And it’s not hard to see why. The old row homes are beautiful. The Inner Harbor is one of my favorite places on Earth. And Camden Yards is easily the prettiest baseball field in America… Yet if you venture about 3 miles away from downtown you run into a totally different Baltimore. 

The beautiful row homes are all boarded up and abandoned. There are heroine needles everywhere. The sidewalks and parks are completely overgrown. It provides a perfect atmosphere for drug deals. And yes… It is one of the most dangerous places in America. 

We spent a total of 5 days trying to clean up the streets. From removing weeds and trimming bushes… To sweeping up needles on the abandoned front porches. There were moments we felt completely safe. Getting a chances to meet the beautiful people who called this place home. And you could turn down another street corner and feel as though you were in danger right away. 

On two occasions we encountered police on the streets in the middle of crime scenes. One guy was stabbed to death only one block over from where we were cleaning… In the middle of the day. The next day police came running in my direction asking me if I had seen a guy run through who had been shot in the head. “Umm… Nope…” I answered. It was crazy. 

It’s easy to walk down the streets of inner city Baltimore and see the trouble and poverty that place has been in for years. You can’t deny the fact that these people have been living in oppression. Part of it is indeed oppression from government and police. But the other part is self inflected. You can’t complain about not having a job when you aren’t willing to keep the streets clean enough for people to start businesses there. 

But I don’t even care about that. I care about people. The citizens of inner Baltimore who are truly trying to make a difference in their community. Sure there are thugs who try to tear down the good things that are happening. But in all honesty… That’s everywhere. Not just in inner cities… And not just with black people. I hope that those who have been living in oppression for years are able to get out of it. I hope that the racial discrimination of some policeman are dealt with by the toughest punishment possible. I hope the the thugs who decided to tear apart such a beautiful city will also receive the toughest punishment possible. 

This truly is Charm City. A beautiful place full of amazing and beautiful people. The destructive attitude of some will not take away from the humble gratitude of others. The idiots we saw in t.v. last night were not the same people in which we sat in front porches and prayed and laughed with. Those people were very good people. People Tiffany and I throughly enjoyed serving with. 

We watched last night in amazement. The streets we had cleaned were now being destroyed. But it wasn’t just the streets… The hearts of the honest and hardworking individuals of inner city Baltimore were again being destroyed as well. 

We continue to pray for those wonderful people we met. And we’re asking God to heal the hearts of all in inner city Baltimore. We’re asking God for oppression to cease. That radical racist on both sides would be exposed for who they are… Horrible  and hateful people. We’re asking God for the safety of the Law Enforcement during this time. And we’re asking God for wisdom for the leadership of that city. 

It’s time to restore that area back to what it has been known as for years… Charm City!

Brandon Hester