Mission work?

As I interact with friends and colleagues who have heard about my move to Trinity Gardens, I often get a question.  It goes something like, “How’s your mission work going?”  I smile and tell them how wonderful life is in our new neighborhood, but I cringe when I hear that word “mission.”  My own father has questioned my decision (and probably my sanity) to build a home in this neighborhood.  He’s worried that I won’t ever get my money back.  My sister had to use the word “mission” to explain it to him.  She compared me to a missionary in a foreign country.

This is not a mission work.  This is real gospel life.  We have chosen to live in a neighborhood that is materially poor, under-resourced, and deprived of almost all of the opportunities that middle class America takes for granted.  We have made a significant financial investment to be there and don’t plan to ever leave.  Thinking of it as a mission work keeps you from becoming an equal with those around you.  You see yourself as somewhat superior, coming in with answers.  I cannot think of it as a mission.  It is my life.  I want to meet my neighbors, expressing full acceptance of them in the place that they are now.  I don’t come with a 3 step plan to make them different or to move them to another place.

By the way, my father is right.  I won’t ever get my money back.  I could never sell my new house so I’ll be there until the Lord calls me to Glory.  And one other correction:  I do come with one answer to share; and that’s the real, true, living Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And that makes me smile more than the word “mission.” 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Mission work?

  1. I see it as you having chosen a neighborhood that you want to live in and moving there. I think that you and your neighbors are blessed. Considering that The Gardens are mainly Black, I guess you could say it is White flight in reverse 🙂

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