I have done a lot of thinking during my 2 months in Trinity Gardens. I have had many wonderful conversations with total strangers who are now at least acquaintances, if not friends yet. The question that I always expect is “Why did you move here?” I don’t think I’ve heard it exactly like that yet. I’ve been asked where I moved from; do I like the neighborhood; where did I grow up; and other similar questions. But I really think they have that unspoken question on their mind, “Why did you move here?”
My spiritual answer would be “for the glory of God, and to see Christ shared and exalted in the lives of the community.” But there are many answers to that question, on many different levels. I also have to check my motives when I answer that question. Did I move here to attract attention; to do something other professionals would be scared to do; or perhaps to get accolades or the praises of men? I hope and pray that is not so. Many people have praised the move that Charlene and I have made but I always redirect that to God; for in our modern, self-centered society, this move is not one that you can make on your own. When I’m told “You’re doing such a great thing,” I answer, “God has and is doing great things. We’re just part of it.”
I believe that we moved here because we love the people of Trinity Gardens. We want to know them personally and learn from them. They have much to share with society & with the broader evangelical church. I didn’t come here to tell them how to live their lives, but to learn from them, to love them as neighbors, and live in common community. My outlook on the world will be changed, and as I earn the respect & trust of my neighbors, perhaps God will use me to encourage them. Poverty-stricken communities are pushed to the side. The majority culture needs to admit that they can learn something from these communities. My pastor published a blog entitled “Why We Need the Hood.” I encourage you to read it.
Until the next post, please pray. We are seeing great fruit from our year of meeting as a church in the neighborhood. We are approaching the anniversary of our first service, August 18. May God continue to build bridges of trust and communication in Trinity Gardens.