Great Moments in Community Transformation

The ZIP-code sized aspiration of Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas

2005

At the age of 25, Georgia Mjartan rises to the position of executive director of Our House, a shelter and training center founded in 1988 for the working homeless in 72204.

Mjartan is accustomed to rising quickly to the top—the top of her class, the top recipient of scholarships and grants, the top of her capabilities. Possessing a long pedigree of social consciousness, she enters into her responsibilities confident of making a difference.

Early on, she meets a 4-year-old boy who is eventually abandoned by his mother at the Our House campus.

“I knew there was nothing I could do for that little boy,” she says, a surprised look in her eyes. “I had never got to the end of myself or my abilities before.”

At nearly the same time, she meets Corey, a 6-foot-4, tattooed, homeless resident and meth addict, who jokes that the four years he spent in prison correspond to Mjartan’s college years. Impressed with his gift for landscaping and service for others, Mjartan also learns of Corey’s terrible childhood.

“When I hear his story,” she says, “the face of that four-year-old boy flashes in my head. That was him.”

Mjartan listens carefully when Corey speaks of Jesus’ supernatural work in his life. She accepts an invitation to his church.

“I had always believed in God,” Mjartan says, “but I never thought about a God who was present and operating here on earth in the lives of people.”

Mjartan arrives at Mosaic, and her world, once again, shifts. She sees people of all different races, and a professor sitting next to a homeless guy, who was beside a woman wearing cowboy boots.

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“They weren’t just sitting next to each other,” she says, “they were lifting hands together, praising God.”

Sensing at once she was part of God’s family, Mjartan takes communion, the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

2006

Long divorced from his wife, family and a nearly six-figure contractor’s salary, Vincent sleeps in a Laundromat after his girlfriend and business partner tell him to hit the streets. He hears on the radio plans for a thanksgiving celebration in 72204 at a church named Mosaic.

“I had a good feeling when I saw so many different races in harmony and unity sharing a meal together,” he says. “I felt like what Dr. King prophesized was coming true—we had overcome. I wanted to be a part of that. I had been out of church for 30 years, but what I saw convinced me to reconnect with Christ.”

When he first attends, Vincent shares little about his situation.

“I don’t think anyone from the church knew I was homeless at the time because of the way I dressed and carried myself,” he says.

The Laundromat gets rowdy and Vincent fears for his safety. With nowhere else to turn, Vincent loses his pride and asks the church for help. Mosaic becomes his home. Literally. The chairs of a central cubicle form the bed where he sleeps.