in the world…

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been involved in numerous conversations expressing the frustration around the willingness to serve in a community and yet not quite fully commit to being part of it. Tonight, I heard preach that we should blur the lines between inside and outside; that there should be no distinction between what goes on inside and what goes on outside, because essentially, we should reflect our community.

This frustrates me because I know we don’t reflect our community. We serve in the local high school and yet are unwilling to commit to sending our own to the local high school. I kept getting frustrated thinking that as a church community, we’re hypocritical.
Then I looked at myself…
I am willing to commit to serving a community 15 minutes out of town but I’m unwilling to move there. Part of my reasoning is that I’m comfortable where I am. And yet, in terms of where my heart is, it’s not here. I’ve been commissioned to work “over there” and my heart’s in it but I’m not budging.

I’m scared I’ll have no friends.
I’m scared I’ll become one of the many who feel isolation.
I’m scared of living with non-religious folk.
I’m scared of not being able to afford a decent living.

So I’m still here. Freaked out and yet convicted that maybe the right thing is to buy into the place and instill my own hope into that community. If I love it and show that I love it, perhaps others will learn to love it too.

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5 thoughts on “in the world…

  1. Wow. Catching up on your blog (thanks for starting to write again!) and just HAVE to respond to this one.
    My old flatmate (originally from the UK) here in Nairobi works with kids who live in Kibera slum here, and recently has felt convicted to move there. She’s only been permitted to do it for a month (for safety etc) but moved there a few weeks ago.
    We visited her in her concrete room with a mattress on the floor and a few leaks in the ceiling… it was really meaningful.
    Her thinking on the move is here: http://godisintheslums.blogspot.com/2010/05/moving-house.html

  2. Hello, it seems we share a past housemate! She pointed me to your blog as we seem to be challenged in a similar way at the moment.

    I work in Kenya with street kids in a slum and have felt challenged to live amongst the community. I decided to push the door and see what happened by staying for 1 month in a room on the edge of the slum. It has been amazing! I’ve learnt so much about life in the slum I would never had known and my relationships have gone loads deeper. I was properly scared before I went but God is way bigger than those things that scare me, and He did loads through the time.

    Have a look at my blog for more stories and keep wrestling with the challenge! God will lead you where He wants you to be

  3. Hey Emily!

    Lovely to meet you allbeit very not face-to-face :). Whenever I get thinking about this subject, I’m constantly reminded of mission being incarnational. God spoke to us on such a human level (ie. Jesus). What example does that set for how we should speak to others?

    I’ve started checking through your blog. Some great stuff there! and some wonderful reflections on some of the challenges you face ๐Ÿ™‚

    I look forward to dialoguing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Blessings,
    Lani

  4. Yes! mission needs to be incarnational, and being a disciple means submitting every part of our lives to God. We need to be ready to give up anything and everything. Thats not to say that He will ask everyone to move house but if He does ask then its not just about the way it changes our approach to mission but the way God transforms us. Its an act of obedience, which is an act of worship, which builds a brick in the Kingdom on its own even before it affects our relationships with others.

    Its pretty cool. Are you going to do it?

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