Last week I presented a brand new team we are forming in East Aurora--the East Aurora Restore Team that will be made up of 10 - 15 families living in our focus community 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.
I'd like to introduce you to the 5 families committed to launching this team:
Scott, Kirsten, Erik (14) & Brian (12) Strand
We moved to East Aurora from Naperville in 2007, and our kids have attended the public elementary and middle schools in District 131. Kirsten directs Community 4:12 at CCC, and Scott teaches 3rd grade at one of our partner schools, Bardwell Elementary. While we've worked and served in East Aurora since 2003, it has only been since moving here that we have built deep and lasting relationships that have quite honestly been life changing . . . from a teenage girl we've been able to mentor to a single mom and her kids that have become like family to us. Our boys have experienced cultural and economic diversity and learned "life lessons" that can't be taught in even the best of schools. We absolutely love living in East Aurora!
Obe & Jack Arellano
We moved to East Aurora in July, 2011, and Grace is currently attending Bardwell Elementary. Drake owns his own Pest Control business (which he hopes to move to East Aurora in 6-8 weeks) and Josie works at CCC-EA campus as the Kids' City Director. We began helping in East Aurora with several Community 4:12 events and after helping and building a relationship with Kirsten and hearing her story we decided to move to the community. We continue to help with events, but I have now begun to help and become a permanent fixture in Bardwell School. I am trying to build relationships with staff and parents. And now by living 3 blocks from the church and 4 blocks away from the school has made it a great middle point for the kids that we have built friendships with to stop by and hang out. We look forward to the day when their parents join them!!
Mike, Jeannene, & Amanda (21) Miller
I spent the first third of my 63 years growing up in an affluent suburb, assuming that I knew a lot about the real world. Going off to college in the late sixties introduced me to a world filled with color, diversity, excitement and injustice. These last 4 decades have been spent in a variety of diverse settings - raising our family in a small but multi-cultural city - being blessed with friends from a broad range of racial, ethnic, educational and economic diversity - helping to raise children who have experienced challenges that break my heart - and traveling to nations, thus witnessing the profound faith of the truly impoverished. Jesus continues to stretch my comfort zone and open my eyes. Life is good........ being a neighbor on the East Side of Aurora is good....... understanding that I can truly contribute to the healing of the world is good!