Shift Destiny organizers hope to change lives for the better

By Lynn R. Parks

The vast, mostly empty parking lot at the Nylon Capital Shopping Center in Seaford will be the scene of a Christian revival that organizers hope will change lives. Shift Destiny 2014 will feature music and food and will be a day of hope, chairman John Rittenhouse told the city council Tuesday night.

"We want to go in where the city cannot, to address the drug drama and the addiction that are seizing our community," he said. "The city and the police are doing all that they can do. We are doing this to serve the city, not to supersede the city."

Rittenhouse said that he and other organizers are "praying and believing there will be lives that will be impacted that day."

He added that they hope to prevent any more situations like that of the 19-year-old Justin Johnson, a burglary suspect who in July was stopped by Seaford police and who, after being handcuffed, ran off and jumped into the Nanticoke River. Johnson was pulled from the water by volunteers with the fire department's dive team, but died four days later.

Shift Destiny will take place Saturday, Sept. 20, starting at 12:30 p.m.

Throughout the three days preceding that, volunteers will walk through poor neighborhoods in the city, handing out loaves of bread and gift cards for food, and telling people about the event. Teams will be led by pastors Isaac Ross and Carlton Cannon. The bread is being donated by Davelli's, a coffee shop in Seaford.

"We want to shift people's destinies," Rittenhouse said. "People are feeling hopeless and we want to change that."

Organizers have raised $15,000 to pay for the effort, $10,000 of which will buy food. All of the money was donated by private sources; "we haven't gotten any public money to do this," Rittenhouse said.

Rittenhouse invited members of the city council to attend the event, and in particular to be at the opening ceremony.

"I have no doubt that there will be an impact made on that day," Mayor David Genshaw said. "I am praying for you, and hoping for a huge success."

For more information, visit the Facebook page Shift Destiny 2014.

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