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January 23, 2009

When you’re in Liberia feeling lonely

Christina Get to work building a community, like my friend Christina Holder did:

Jesus didn't wait for people to invite Him into their communities. He created His own communities. He asked people to join him.

From a young age, Jesus was establishing community. He went to the temple at the age of 12 and began preaching the word of God. I love the account of this in Luke. Scripture says that Jesus was “sitting in the midst of the teachers” (Luke 2:46). Jesus didn't pass by the temple and wait for someone to call Him inside. He climbed the temple steps and settled into the midst of the people with whom He wanted relationships ...

Grasping the way Jesus called people to join Him in what He was doing has changed the way I have approached community-building in Liberia. Instead of lamenting how some people haven't reached out to me, I decided to start calling people to join me in what I was doing.

In the six months I've been in Liberia, I started a dance class for women at my church. I began a writer's group for people who want to become better writers and who need encouragement to start or finish their writing projects. I organized a war art show with a group of young Liberian artists as a way to bring more awareness to the arts in Liberia and to help Liberians begin to heal from all that they have experienced during Liberia's 14-year civil war ...

In building my communities, I recognize that maybe I won't always feel included or feel like I belong. And the reality is that communities are often filled with people who don't get along. But I know I'm making the right steps as I try to follow Jesus' lead.

(Image courtesy of Christina Holder)

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