Some people just have it SO RIGHT. Some people capture the very heart and essence of community and serving Jesus by serving people. I'm ill at the moment so have taken an afternoon off work..and have found myself browsing the internet for drop in centres and community organisations back home in New Zealand..And I am totally blown away and in awe...All I can say is that some people just have hit the nail on the head with their focus and their want to build community with ANYONE and EVERYONE who needs it..people who are in the lower parts of society..
This one organisation 'Urban Vision' (www.urbanvision.org.nz) is totally all about living in community and welcoming those who are poor or marginalised into that community...Moving into flats and places where they know there is people in need..migrants, refugees and such..and establishing a community among them where they can have their needs met and can build amazing relationships..
These people have it SO RIGHT..They describe who they are as 'those who believe Jesus call to love beyond the church walls, and join with others in pioneering expressions of love in neighbourhoods of need'..is this not what Jesus called us to do? take care of the broken, put ourselves in places so we can help those in need...did Jesus not hang out with the down and outers? those that others didnt want to be associated with or who others thought were unimportant? This is totally what Jesus wants..a missional community..misseo-dei (as I learned at one training) is going and doing in a community..and I totally believe this is the way to go whether it just be in your own community where you live and getting to know your neighbours, inviting them round for a meal or helping to fix their fence or something..Jesus called his followers to be DOING..
When I was living back home in Hamilton I didn't see much need..but I think my eyes weren't open to it..but behind every gang, every troubled teenager, every poorer community is need..and we are called as Christians to meet that need..Not because we will then be able to tell them about God in hopes of them becoming a follower..but because that is what Jesus would have wanted..he never intended people to be hungry, cold, broken, fighting..
I bet when I go home I will see where I live in such a different way..and I pray that I will be able to do something about it.
Theres another story I came across aswell.
About a guy who has devoted his time to making a community in an area of Hamilton that is known for its gang violence, graffiti and lack of money..The kids go to school hungry and there was a massive gang issue because the kids were seeking a sense of belonging and community that the actual community couldnt provide..this guy has set up a community centre that picks up the kids in the community really early so they can go and have breakfast at the centre, then get walked to school with a packed lunch..then they provide afterschool clubs and dinner clubs so the kids are able to be involved and have fun in a positive environment..This guy has seen the need for a real community and for these kids and families... and has seen the number of kids in gangs decrease and these kids know what its like to have people who care about whether they go to school hungry ..and as far as i can see he's not a christian..Man we need to step it up..we need to start seeking areas where the community needs us and fill them. I am so inspired and challenged by these people.
"What life have we if we have not a life together?
There is no life not lived in a community."
What do you think?