Monday, April 23, 2012

Community in Buffalo, NY

So, I already talked about the way that the students who went to Buffalo really connected with each other.  That isn't the only way the theme of community and togetherness manifested itself.

While we were up there we worked with various ministries around the city.  We helped Jeremy from the Buffalo Christian Center (BCC) with miscellaneous jobs around the center.  Some of us helped start an urban garden (really we just turned the pile of horse crap *ahem* compost).  We helped rehab a house for a couple families who are investing in one of the neighborhoods that needs some love.  We seeded a lawn for a church, cleaned out a garage for Urban Christian Ministries (UCM), helped with an after school Kids Club, and spent some time getting to know some gang members who have recently show interest in or accepted Christ through the work of Friends for Life.

Something that the students who went up with my noticed is the way all these ministries were aware of what the others were doing.  Not only were they aware, but they supported one another.  When we would show up to the work sites the people in charge would be so grateful that we were there, but also they treated us like part of the team.  And it really was like we were all working for the same goal.

This community, and the little taste of what I imagine the Kingdom of God is like, awakened something in the students.  They were saying how they crave that kind of community and the joy that came from the service they were doing.  It was like they had only just caught a glimpse of real christian community like what we read about in Acts.

I don't think I can really do justice to this lesson and the experiences that shaped it.  I really think this a was a "you had to be there" moment.  I just know how amazing it was to watch some of them literally wake up to the way life in christian community can be.  I know that is something I crave on a pretty regular basis, and now that there are others like me we have a chance of making it happen.  If Christ is the center, how could we possibly fail?

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