First, the work. Last year in Belfast I served part-time in a faith-based community center doing peace and reconciliation work in North Belfast, specifically in the New Lodge and the Shankill. I also served part-time at Woodvale Methodist where I was able to participate in and lead a variety of ministries that the church offered. This year, I work at Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona (CHRPA for those of you who would like another acronym in this post). CHRPA is a non profit that provides free home repairs through a number of different grants to low-income and disadvantaged homeowners in Pima County. I am out each day doing these repairs alongside my fellow handymen and handywomen. The two years have been an interesting juxtapostion of two very different types of hands-on ministry.
|la Casa Banana (our home)|
Early in this year, I was reading Rob Bell's Jesus Wants to Save Christians. One of my favorite excerpts from the books reads:
"Take away the comforts of the kingdom, deprive a person of the structures and institutions of empire, and they might just find the spine to envision a new tomorrow. Push a person to the limits of suffering, and they just might become a revolutionary."
We are not suffering. We live comfortably but not always in the comforts of any empire. Through these two years of service, we have begun to understand living in the comfort of a different Kingdom. So, I hope this post gives you a little more insight into what motivated us to do the YAV program. We were trying to get out of ourselves in order to make more room for the world around us. And thank God, I think we have succeeded in that endeavor a little bit and found it to be truly amazing. We have found ourselves envisioning that new tomorrow and it's nearly as exciting as today.
|Enid, Austin & Kendra finding the joy in today|
I wish to serve.
I want to learn.
I desire to be a part of
a beautiful world
all around me
(an excerpt from a September journal entry)