I logged in today and saw it's been too long since I last stopped by. The reason is simple. Winter has come and with it the busy arrived.
The shelter we run has needed some prep and then we have been open for the last 2 weeks straight.
I am always amazed at the effect the shelter has on us. I am always amazed at the volunteers that come out again and again. There has been something about the shelter that touches people enough for it to work.
This year we have had a lot of Eastern Europeans with us. They have 'no recourse to public funds'. That means that if they are not working then the majority cannot claim benefits or housing. I have enjoyed getting to know some of them this past 2 weeks. It's been quite the privilege. They are full of fun and are slightly bewildered at the volunteers helping them. I invited some of them to Christmas dinner at the church and the reply was 'we'd love to, it's the best place'.
I would agree. What we do is inspiring people to come and work along side us, volunteers are now starting to just turn up. Not just for the shelter but for other stuff as well. New folk are passing by and are really heartened by our approach. Businesses are giving things and this year some of those that came to the shelter in the first year have decorated for , gardened and supported others in the community in need.
You know sometimes, its all a little Acts 2. Now and again there is a little bit of a sense that the vision we have held and are trying to hold, the vision of truly being church, welcoming all and taking Jesus very, very seriously is in God's keeping.
I am always astounded by how hard following Christ is. It is so very 'other'. Amidst all the struggle though there is a lifting and a coming together. God sending followers and the vulnerable, the gifted and the wounded. The struggle will continue of course, my natural default settings are not geared to sacrifice, or patience, those are lessons that Jesus has to continually give extra tuition for. I remain though, a committed student.