Saturday, April 24, 2010

Changing the World

It's funny how the Spirit works. We have been talking on and off about ReThinking Church for 6 months or so at West Grove. At times I feel as if I have been simply spinning my wheels at times, yet today something happened.

We activated something we are calling the Brown Bag Brigade at church. It is a group of volunteers who come in and make some brown bag lunches for us. Today we decided to make 50 bag lunches to coincide with the Change the World event that was being promoted throughout the United Methodist Church.

We themed our day's events around Feeding the World. We also had a group at church holding a bake sale to raise money for an organization that is focusing on solving the problem of childhood hunger.

So with the Brown Bag brigade activated it was my job to find a place to deliver the brown bag lunches. I figured that it would be easy to find a group in the area that was in need of some lunches. However, as the lunches were being made I found myself scrambling to find a place that could use the lunches. I told Ginny off handedly that I would simply let the "Spirit" lead me. I was trying to be funny, as often happens God had other ideas.

It was then I remembered several stories I had read in the newspaper recently about a place called Tent City in Lakewood. It was described as being off in the woods and a place where people who were homeless or transient would try and find some community and safety and help.

So with the lunches packed I headed off on my quest to find Tent city and it was not exactly easy. I traveled up and down the streets of Lakewood, I stopped in the local laundromat and stopped a few people on the road and still could not find anyone that could give me directions. I finally made a phone call to a colleague of mine from Lakewood and he was able to give me directions.

I found the entrance into the woods where I was told that I would find Tent City, as I went down the long dirt road I realized that my little car was probably not the best vehicle to be making this trip. I finally pulled up into an opening in the woods and I came upon what I can only describe as a little community.

All around me I found various homemade structures and a few vehicles as well as several chickens. As I got out of my car I soon found myself talking to two of the most engaging gentleman that I had ever met, Danny and Stormy.

Stormy was a former resident of Tent city who now had a place of his own. Danny was a resident of Tent City. They seemingly were great friends and shared with me a little of their stories. I found myself just standing there listening and sharing with them and became more and more encouraged. I was encouraged with the spirit of these men and of the sense of community that I felt as I stood there with them and a few other people.

I hope that today was the beginning of a relationship of sorts between myself, Stormy, Danny, West Grove and the people of Tent City. However that turns out I do know one thing, today was truly a Change the World event. My world did change just as it does every time that I trust God.

So I ask you, did you help Change the World today?

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