Communion, Community and Mission
My team and I recently watched a message by the late Henri Nouwen entitled “Becoming the Beloved
”. Drawn from the passage in Luke 6 where Jesus goes up on a mountain to pray and then calls his disciples, Nouwen speaks of communion, community and mission
as three essential elements of life in Christ.
Often, he says, we take things in reverse order when we respond first through ministry and programs (ministry), we gather others around us when we find we can’t make it on our own (community), and finally pray for God to bless our efforts (communion). Christ models the exact opposite for us: communion with the Father is first, followed by movement toward community, then ministry to the needs of the people around us.
With the school year in full swing it seems I’ve been thrown into a whirlwind of activity. After morning devotions some of us tutor children one-on-one for an hour and then prepare three hours of activities for about thirty children each afternoon. Some days have included hospital visits, trips to the park, a neighborhood clean-up initiative and various field trips.
In October we prepared an autumn festival and soon we’ll begin Christmas pageant preparations. We have more field trips to organize and have begun
a recent initiative of bringing children into our homes on the weekends to distance them from the institutional environment for a brief time. We’ve written a grant to fund the school newsletter we started last year, and asked for support from the local government as we seek a more permanent location for our activites. We continue our comittment to train and disciple high school and college volunteers as they gain first-hand experience reaching out to vulnerable children.
The list of activities could continue, but I pause to ask that you pray for us and especially for me. I feel swept up by the wave of activity and momentum of so many adults and children involved in something wonderful and beautiful. Guests have observed and commented that the children clearly trust us and feel loved and safe in our presence. We watch some young ones take steps toward healing, while others love to pray and are unashamed to share of their faith in God.
The needs around us are great, but I sense our
need for Christ is even greater at this time. Pray that we will be reminded often of this fact and listen attentively to God’s prompting in all we do and in the directions we choose to take. We so deeply need His clear guidance and direction in all our choices.
Peace in Christ,