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“Treasure” by Pete Hileman

September 13, 2015

“Parable of the Hidden Treasure” (Matt. 13:44) and “Parable of the Pearl of Great Price” (Matt. 13:45), Photo by StAnselm of Stained Glass Windows in Scots’ Church, Melbourne, Australia (PD)

This is another message from Peter Hileman, Esq., the Executive Director of Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia.  It speaks, I think, to lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

You can find more information on Christian legal aid under that heading (above).

“I often tell people that I’m like the man in Jesus’ parable who found a treasure hidden in a field. He went home, sold all that he had, and bought that field…

Like the man in Jesus’ story, I wasn’t looking for this treasure, I stumbled upon it. I didn’t even know [ten years ago] where Hunting Park [the site of one of our first legal clinics] was. I hadn’t heard of any of the ministries we work with now.

When we needed…[more room] 4 years ago, [Pastor Manny Ortiz of the Spirit and Truth Fellowship]… offered us space in the church’s Joy in the City building. Before long, Esperanza Health Center completed construction of a new medical building providing health care and encouraging healthy living. Christian lawyers and Christian doctors working together. Biblical Seminary opened their urban ministry center in our building.

We can refer our clients to a variety of dynamic churches and ministries nearby… They all became good sources of clients for us, and partners in ministry.

We feel we are in the center of a revival, as suburban resources are drawn to a vibrant urban mission. It is an exciting place to be.

Hunting Park is typical of North Philadelphia, a poverty rate and high school drop out rate of over 50%, high crime, high unemployment, 80% of the homes are fatherless. The need is great, as is the opportunity to make a difference.

It can be difficult, challenging, frustrating. Things that worked well for me in [suburban ministry]… don’t work so well here. A friend told me when we moved, “People come thinking they are going to change the city, what they find is that the city changes them.”

That is true. Every day I feel like I don’t fit in… I often don’t relate, don’t understand. I offend people without even realizing it. It makes me confess and repent. It makes me pray more, because I have to. It has made a difference, in my life.

The treasure I have found here is the opportunity to have an effective ministry in partnership with others, to see my gifts used to bless others. The treasure is that Jesus is able to use me more. Isn’t that what we all are looking for? A life that has meaning and purpose, where we feel we can make a difference?…”

Donations to Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia are not required, but always welcome. These can be made at


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