Let There Be Light!

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  • 0222 CPS digs hole.jpg
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  • 0322 Street Light ready.jpg

It is extremely important to advocate for our neighbors and collaborate with community assets to build trusting relationships and meet the needs of the community. That is exactly what Pastor Robert, Pastor Luis and the Wesley nurse are doing at Asbury UMC. 


Nowadays it is more difficult for people to trust you or even want to build a friendly relationship with you because of all the fraud, violence, and uncertainties of this world. I have slowly been able to build trusting relationships with some of the neighbors that live around Asbury UMC. I frequently call just to check up on them and offer my assistance or prayers when needed. The neighbors appreciate the phone calls. I have realized that as time goes by, they are more comfortable sharing their concerns, personal struggles, and life stories.


One of the concerns mentioned to me was poorly lit street and insufficient street lighting. A neighbor mentioned that when she walks her dog at night her street is so dark, she was concerned for her safety because of the influx of homeless individuals and robberies in the community. I encouraged the neighbor to contact the City of San Antonio 3-1-1 and voice her concern; she was reluctant, refusing to call because she felt uncomfortable. The neighbor only speaks Spanish. I understood my neighbor’s concern and told her I was going to investigate the issue and contact the City of San Antonio.


That week I began to work on the new task. I printed a map of the neighborhood (color coded the streets/lighting), drove through the neighborhood, and took pictures of the streetlights. I realized there was no street lighting near the concerned neighbor’s home. I contacted the city of San Antonio submitted a request for a streetlight to be installed near her home. Throughout that week I exchanged multiple emails with the City of San Antonio Development Engineer discussing the process and requirements to install a streetlight. One of those requirements was to complete a permission form and collect signatures from neighbors. I contacted the neighbor, explained the process of the request, and asked her to talk to the neighbors and collect the necessary signatures.


It was extremely important to do this project WITH the neighbor and not FOR the neighbor. The neighbor was incredibly surprised and happy to do her part. One week later, she had obtained all the signatures needed to proceed with the request. The permission form was sent to the City of San Antonio Development Services Department.

A few days later I received an email from the City of San Antonio indicating the streetlight request had been investigated and found to warrant one (1) 100 -Watt overhead LED streetlight. The streetlight would be installed in front of the neighbor’s home.


I immediately notified the neighbor and shared the great news. The neighbor was so surprised that someone took the time to listen and address her concern. The neighbor expressed gratitude and thanked me for helping her and the rest of the neighbors. She is incredibly happy and thankful to have a church in the neighborhood that not only helps her obtain food, but also helps her in many other ways.


With the Lord's help we will continue to serve the people in this neighborhood, always showing God’s love and kindness to those in need. 


Anchored in Christ,


Sonia Serna Gonzalez, RN

Wesley Community Nurse

Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas