‘Finding People of Peace’ in The Bronx

The following story is from the blog of Jared Looney, who is a part of the Bronx Fellowship, a network of house churches in and around Bronx, New York. They are a part of a larger “Metropolitan Resource Team” for the metro NYC area called MetroSoul. Jared and his wife, Hylma, along with the several others (of Restoration Movement heritage) may be a part of the fastest-growing North American church planting movement with roots in the Churches of Christ. I encourage you to visit Jared’s blog and read the story below, based on Christ’s instructions to the 70 sent ones in Luke 10.

About three weeks ago one of our interns met a Dominican woman on the streetdoing a “prayer station” in the Bronx who expressed feelings of spiritualseeking and wanted to know more about our church. Two weeks ago Sametria and I went and met with this woman in her home. Feeling prompted by theLord in my heart and observing a few key indicators of a potential “person of peace,” I suggested that we begin a gathering in her home.

Last Sunday night I sat in this Bronx apartment in a room full of people. The onlyfamiliar faces were this woman and her 17 yr. daughter. All the others were new — about 20 adults and children. Translation flew back and forth and at least half a dozen small children moved around the room as I spoke withSpanish-only Mexicans, Dominicans, and Ecuardorians, bilingual Dominicans,an English-only African-American, and a Punjabi-Indian (who speaks Hindi,English, and Punjabi). So what do you do in such a situation? Well, Idon’t know either. I just did what my wife suggested after the fact: Pray,talk about Jesus, and let God do the rest. What else? Life in ministry in the Metropolis is diverse, fluid, and alive. The variety of people’s faith journeys are a spectrum of personal, spiritual narratives. All I can do is step into the messiness of it all and watch Goddo what He does. I begin to understand what Paul meant when he said that heplanted, Apollos watered, and that God brings the growth. In the sea of spiritual seeking and complex urban realities, there is a forced recognitionthat we aren’t reallly in control of very much, and to be in completecontrol seems to be the perfect way to keep God from truly opening doors.Rather we speak truth, we relationally live the truth, we pray, and have thecourage to be faithful to the call. If I was “playing it safe” and only doing what I know, I would not be able to share a story like last Sunday night. As we do our part, God shows up. Pray that God advances his Kingdom through these households. Lift up inprayer the multiplication of disciples, workers, and churches among us herein the Bronx. The glory is His alone. Luke 20:2

(Re-printed with permission from Jared Looney.)

What thoughts come to mind when you read Kingdom Life accounts like the one above?

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