If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. –Australian Aboriginal Activitst, Lila Watson
Since 2003, Community 4:12 has been working in East Aurora with the goal of creating a model of community development and restoration that can be replicated in other communities. We’ve established programs around educational and housing challenges that many under-resourced neighborhoods face and have replicated some of those in Joliet. A large part of our strategy has been to mobilize Community Christian Church attenders to come and serve in lower-income communities. While this has been effective in many instances, it has not created a model that depends on truly coming along side and partnering with the people in the neighborhoods where we work. And we believe that significant and lasting change absolutely depends on that type of incarnational ministry. So this year we are launching a new effort in East Aurora to help us better achieve our hope of truly uniting people of different races and cultures and economic backgrounds to restore communities. I am very excited about the launch of this new East Aurora Restore Team.
The East Aurora Restore Team will be made up of 10 - 15 Christ-following families living in the focus neighborhood in East Aurora. These will be families that have relocated to the neighborhood from more affluent communities, and families that have lived in the neighborhood for years. This Team will exist to engage deeply and relationally in the neighborhood, to identify community assets and challenges, and to work with people inside and outside the community to tackle those challenges.
In my next post, I will introduce the 5 families that are committed to launching the East Aurora Restore Team. All of us are people who have intentionally moved to East Aurora to be part of community restoration efforts. We have been praying for several months that 3 – 5 more families would feel—and respond---to God’s call to join us. Would you join us in praying for that? And if you have any sense that God may be tugging at YOUR heart to consider a missional move, or to be part of a focused incarnational ministry team, I invite you to join us for dessert and to hear more about the vision and dreams of this Team. We will meet at Community Christian Church, Naperville Yellow Box Campus, on Monday evening, February 13th at 7:00 pm. Leave a comment, or send me an email at email@example.com and let me know if you’d like to join us or want more information—no commitment or obligation, just come and learn!