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Forming an ‘Empowered Faith Community’

God had got my attention. A couple of years back I began to notice, that I kept running into people experiencing homelessness. And I felt God calling me to reach out to them – sometimes to help with some money or food. And at times, to also stop and have a conversation with them, to learn more about them and their situation. I found I had to confront resistance in my heart and bring my anxieties and fears to God, to allow Him to begin a work of conversion in my heart. Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience?

Often these kinds of situations call for a community response; on our own, we can feel a bit helpless and powerless to bring change. That same year, God led me into contact with a Christian community who for many years, have been working with people living on the margins. And doing it in a way that was going beyond giving them a handout. I heard many beautiful stories of how people doing life tough have been befriended by this community, empowered to serve others in these spaces and also open their hearts to Jesus and grow as disciples and missionaries.

They offered to train and accompany people from our local Catholic community to start our own ministry and walk with people in these situations. In 2023, we began a process of training and preparation and started this ministry since Jan.2024. It’s been a beautiful experience and some of the highlights for me have been:

  • A lovely team of our parishioners who are committed to serve, learn and grow in this model of ministry. I’m seeing that when we work together – each contributing what we can – we can make an impact in people’s lives, that we can’t on our own.
  • The relationship connections that we are beginning to form with participants who are coming regularly to the meals we host at a community center, twice a month.
  • A coach from the organisation which is training us, to encourage and guide us in establishing this ministry. We still have lots to learn and implement; and so, I’m grateful for this support that is available to us.

Please pray:

  • That as a team we would continue to learn and grow in humility, vulnerability and compassion, as we walk with those whom God brings into our midst.
  • That we would discover ways to create spaces in this community, for those whom God sends us to contribute their gifts and talents, to serve one another.
  • That we would know God’s wisdom and timing as we seek to create a discipling culture and engage participants in spiritual conversations, so that they can learn the words, works and ways of Jesus. And in turn be and bring the good news of Jesus in their own social settings.