Multi Hsg article 11_2015

By LuAnn Turner-CBCG Consultant for Multi-Housing Ministries

On September 21st a two year old was murdered at Green Gables. This tragedy touched every family there, and many were deeply affected by the loss of a family member and child they knew and loved. As news unfolded, many were then impacted by the arrest of a friend and family member. For most, it was like a hurricane had uprooted their security and stability. Some of these were children. Children who lived in the home or were often in the home. Children who love the accused.

Because the Multi-Housing ministry has been present in this community for several years, we have really lived life with the residents there.  We felt the pain and are walking through the darkness with them.

Through all of this God has brought more broken and grieving people into our lives.  He has given an opportunity for his church to be a light in the darkness. He has filled a few of our teen boys with a hunger to know the Bible better as they battle nightmares and anger.

Kavon writes, “Immediately following the tragic event the family was not allowed to return to their own apartment and they were without food and access to their clothes for almost an entire week.   The look on the face of the grandmother when I handed her a meal was priceless.  She asked where we were from as she wondered why I would bring them food. Tears came to her eyes when I told her we are the church here at Green Gables, and we are here just to love on you guys.”

One of the children who lives in the home came to our apartment to color and simply be out of the eye of the storm for a bit. His face lit up when we included him in our birthday party.

We are grateful that 15 years ago God brought us to this place. It has been a privilege to be exactly where God wants us for “such a time as this.”

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
  Isaiah 9:2

Fruit of the Spirit, Alive and in Action

By LuAnn Turner-CBCG Consultant for Multi-Housing Ministries

This summer I have the privilege of working with both a North American Mission Board Church planting intern, and an intern team of college students. The Bible lessons they are teaching are from Galatians 5:22, 23, “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” It is my joy to not only watch them teach it, but to live it out in the world where it is needed most.

I continue to be amazed at how easy it is to let someone know of Jesus’ love for them. A member of our community, Linda, lost her son two years ago this month. He left behind a wife and two very young children. Linda, disabled herself, watches the children every day while mom works. She often sits outside her apartment while the kids play. Unfortunately she no longer had useable chairs. We had two very inexpensive plastic chairs that we gave her. Her gratitude was so big that it trickled down her cheek in the form of tears. This dear woman could not have been more grateful.

Last week at a kid’s club at one of our 9 summer locations, a 12 year old girl was the only attender. She had grown up with both abuse and a hearing loss. She wore a large, out-dated hearing aide, and of course, was often made fun of by other kids. After the lesson one of the interns took her swimming. Although initially reluctant and cautious, after a bit she began to laugh and have fun, thoroughly enjoying the one-on-one attention. Gregory Boyle in his book Tattoos on the Heart, describes such children as “dry sponges looking for the slightest drop of adult attention.” We serve many such children and adults. Our society is filled with them.

On Sunday during a lesson on the expansive, abundant forgiveness of our God, one pre-teen said, “My life is dark and miserable.” And so we shine a light into the darkness as best we can. Because of all the rain this summer, we have had more than our usual opportunities to spend time with individual or small groups. So as I have grumbled about the weather, God has clearly and repeatedly said, “I am the God of the wind and the rain, and I have this. I know what I am doing.”

One of our women had surgery this summer. When I visited her in a brand new rehab facility she said, “I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’m really having fun here.” It was air conditioned, she had a view of the mountains, and the food was good. She got to watch movies and had people treating her with great kindness….all things I take for granted in my life.

And so it is with gratitude that we move into our world, carrying a light in the form of pizza, plastic chairs, and swimming. A little kindness. A lot of joy.

 

If you have questions about Multi-Housing Ministries or would like to have LuAnn speak to your church group about this kind of ministry CONTACT US.