Friday, August 17, 2007
Day 2. When the city wakes up.
Coffee shops in California. Opening time is probably around 5AM. We're used to having that luxury. Here, in Vancouver, the city mostly wakes up around 10AM. In search for coffee, Deb and I walked around and finally found a place that was open. Sitting here, we did our quiet time for that day and people watched. A few people in the homeless community began to emerge. And in their exchange of dialogue, transactions were made. Phone call-drug deal. I sat there wondering, where is God in all this? And I was led to reading John 5. This came alive as i compared the story of the crippled man at the pool of Bethseda to the city of Vancouver and its broken, homeless and drug addicted. As we, in our brokeness as well, consider the others, we realize that we are all "waiting for the moving of the waters." The man at the pool of Bethseda had been there for years, and his response to the healing that was being offered was a simple, yet incredibly somber truth that there had been no one to lead him to the place of healing. This just screams out the need for community and for the need to come alongside and know someone well enough to know where the Lord is leading us to serve in whatever capacity we're called to. As I sat there, my heart broke and just had this heavy sense of whether or not this man had ever seen love-if he had ever seen the Lord. I looked up in my frustration and saw a sign across the street-a restaurant sign. It was called "arriva!" And in that, the still small voice reminded me that He has already arrived-His kingdom has come...already. It is at hand. Lord, break the destructive patterns in our lives. May we find freedom in Your name.
In our team's discussion time, we just went over the 5 points that exemplify mission being lived out (Example used: Peter and the disciples seeing Jesus walk on water): 1) the Call from God. God calls us to something. We don't make it up 2)The call is risky; there is fear involved. It the call is big enough where it requires God. When Peter saw the Lord walking on the water, he asked for an opportunity, not a guarantee. 3)There is always reassurance: He is present, and he is I AM. We're not doing things for God, but we're doing things with God. 4) There is a decision to be made. (Do you stay on the boat or do you get in the water?) 5) There is always a changed life.
In communion, we reflected: "May you hear God's voice and feel his presence."
The day's main focus was to help out at the community garden down the street from Grandview (one of the local churches). A huge emphasis with NieuCommunities is Creation Care-to be stewards ofthe land the Lord has given us. A while back, the church bought this lot of land where a house used to stand. They've cleaned and cleaned and begun a community garden there. Often times, those that walk by will stop to see what's going on. Others will see the progress being made, and many conversations are sparked this way. Some families bring their little kids and let them play at the garden. Our job for that day was to take up rocks, pieces of foundation, and laid in soil from which new life will emerge.
Then, to close off the night, we went 5-pin bowling. The balls were the size of...shotput balls... Good talk with Becks and Carl.
Community. Responsibility. Life. Love.
On our walk home, it rained. =)
"He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful." Isaiah 30:22a