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Caleb Altmeyer

Caleb Altmeyer is the president of Helping Reach our Community and founder of the local nonprofit The Adullam Project.

Interview by Shyanne Knighten, May 2014

I would say peace, to me, means internal peace. Being able to do what God’s calling me to do, which has been witnessing people set free from all their internal battles and to see alternatives to violence in people’s daily lives. I think that peace only comes through Jesus Christ. My work directly reflects this because I work with churches and pastors, and the whole point is to get people off the streets and introduce them to Jesus. I don’t believe it’s possible to have internal peace without having Jesus in your life as your savior.

I grew up in an awesome family and I become a very angry young man full of frustration from seeing my mom as a quadriplegic. I found Jesus and He just began to talk to me about helping other people who were in similar situations. So, I decided to start a nonprofit to serve the community by giving opportunities to look at other people’s issues in the city that could be fixed. I think that when you get somebody’s eyes off themselves and on to something else, they will forget all the issues they are going through. Part of being a peacemaker is finding something people can be unified through because people can argue with family members, another basketball team, or even as a church. You can argue with each other based on who has the right doctrine, but when you actually begin to love other people and be unified through something, you can come together and fix a problem. We need to find matters that the world struggles with and needs to be changed, and then unify people on these issues. When I am working with two young kids that are fighting a lot, the easiest way to calm them down is giving them something to do together. When they get their mind off of the fight and have to come together as a team to get something accomplished, they become really good friends. That’s what I have seen in my own life as well. When I am frustrated or angry with somebody if I stop focusing on all the anger and I have to work with them to get something accomplished that is bigger than our issue, we will put our differences aside to accomplish the common goal. I think finding ways to unify people is a really, really big deal.  That is what peacemaking is and why I love doing what I do.

I think it just is very simple to promote peace: spend more time being around the Prince of Peace. I think that we just need to get back to the Bible and doing what Jesus told us to do, loving others and him. If we can get back to the place of loving people and showing them Jesus Christ, we’re going to have a much more peaceful city and world. In our community that means just reaching out to people and giving them opportunities to love their neighbor as themselves. When you are loving other people, the last thing on your mind is violence.