Somehow, week one of SAUP has flown by. Between getting oriented to the SAUP rule of life, making visits to and observations about various neighborhoods throughout the city and getting into our work at our ministry sites, our days have been packed from morning to midnight. We read and bible study, we cook, we pray, we play (lots of board games) and paint with our fingers. Then, we wake up to do it all over again.
For me, the journey thus far has been a story of the birds. On our first day at Servant Partners, an organization focusing on incarnational ministry through church planting, our first task was to engage in the community with a prayer walk. Mark, the pastor with whom we are working, encouraged us to look for the good and the beautiful. In neighborhoods like our site in the East Side, that struggle with poverty and other injustices, it is especially important to take note of the ways that God is working. Indeed, the streets were teeming with life, as a jungle of blooming trees fed in from either side of the sidewalk. Birds of all kinds hopped, sang and flew past us. Their songs and feathers were a testament to God’s creation, as well as his provision: “they do not sow or reap… yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than the birds!” (Luke 12:24). Watching the birds set the tone for working with purpose at our ministry sites and preparing ourselves to live five more weeks on the floor of a church hall.
In the face of some very real and intense struggles, both planned and unforeseen, the Christ-centered nature of our SAUP family been our comfort. And his kingdom is like a mustard seed: starting small but growing grand enough so that the birds of the air may find shelter in its branches.