A few months ago we were informed that our facility, TPAAK, was going to be unavailable to us on Sunday Nov. 20th. At first our leaders began to scramble to find an alternate venue for which we could gather.
Instead we decided to put together a project called “Church without Walls” where instead of gathering in one location we would spread out through Fort Collins to serve in various capacities.
We had three tracks -
1. Visiting folks at a Nursing Home
2. A work project at the home of an elderly woman
3. Loving on homeless folks
The event overall was a great success. Each of the three tracks had good turnouts and saw good fruit result.
A few of our musicians shared music at the nursing home, many of our children made cards for the folks who very rarely see young people, and even though most of the folks who live at LeMay Ave. Health and Rehab have very short memories they were blessed and so were the people of Missio Dei who showed up to serve the least among us.
The woman we served was overjoyed that complete strangers would show up at her house to do manual labor. We had guys raking leaves, scraping and replacing tile grout, hanging blinds, doing general cleanup, and one of our ladies even took her to the store to help her pick out nutritional supplements to help with some health issues she was having. This woman had been abandoned by her husband of many decades, she lives alone, is broke, and she had no community, until now.
The cops showed up to chastise us for serving the homeless…”these people choose to be here you know? Do you understand the risks? Do you realize you’re actually making this worse?” We all understand that most homeless folks have chosen that lifestyle, but they’re still humans, created in the image of God and therefore have value and worth. Yes we know that there are drug addicts, pedophiles, and drunks that congregate at Jefferson Park but how on earth are we possibly making it worse? By serving people? By loving the unlovable? By going to the very people Jesus went to, which is what the Church gets criticized for doing too rarely? In spite of the opinion of the Fort Collins PD these folks were grateful, friendly, and eager to share conversation with people who typically turn the other way out of fear and shame. We ended the evening by leading the chapel service at the Open Door Mission. The room was packed with 30+ marginalized folks who heard that despite their place in life, or their sinful lifestyle, they too have the opportunity to be rescued by the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.
Yes I’m proud of the people of Missio Dei.It was a great day with much fruit for the Kingdom.
My prayer is that our corporate event will inspire our members to recognize that they can do this individually and as families without the support of the church corporately. There are always the elderly, shut ins, and the sick to visit. Scores of people in this area are living in homes that could use work done that they are incapable of accomplishing themselves. The poor and homeless are all around us despite the opulent facade.
Wherever you live, in any context, urban, suburban or rural there are needs and because of the mission of God (Missio Dei) to rescue you from your certain destruction you should be compelled to join God’s mission and serve the people that God places in your life.