New Bridge began laying the foundation in March 2015 for spiritual direction at Community First! Village -- a 27-acre master planned community that will provide safe, affordable housing and a supportive environment for about 200+ chronically homeless, disabled folks in Austin.
Here are some valuable lessons learned over the past 5 months:
- Intimacy with God must precede the desire for impact.
This is a lesson learned over and over and over … and is the single most crucial ingredient to bringing Christ to people. You cannot impart what you do not possess.
- The more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know.
There is significant humility in processing the painful impact of homelessness from those caught in the cycle of poverty. Understanding the nuances of how the profound, catastrophic loss of family leads to personal implosion seems never ending. From living on skid row, to living in cars, to living at a friend’s house, there are countless stories and learning opportunities that inevitably end up debunking common myths about homelessness.
- Everything rises and falls on leadership.
The work that God has called us to is life transformative … yet the laborers are few. And so we have been praying (per Jesus’ instruction in Luke 10:2) that the Lord will raise up laborers to help us create a life-giving model of spiritual growth that launches a wave of dynamic Christ followers from Community First! and beyond. Thank God for gifted volunteers like Denise Boisvert, Angela Hugo and Julie Thomas. They have agreed to take on key roles in helping New Bridge get off the launching pad. There are a few other important opportunities remaining (strategic operations, spiritual growth coordinator, serve director). Please pray that God would raise those folks up.
- Everyone matters … from the filthy to the filthy rich.
The welcome mat is out at Community First! (we’re weeks away from the first residents moving in) … and who is being drawn into this ministry has been eye-opening. The churched, unchurched, dechurched, rich, poor and everything in between. On a regular basis we are meeting folks genuinely curious about Community First! We hosted The Gathering on a Sunday evening last month and will do it again Sunday, August 16 at 6:09pm. Please join us. You can RSVP here.
- Little is MUCH when God is in it.
New Bridge is coming alongside Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF) to provide spiritual direction at Community First! The history of MLF is rich and is a modern day example of the powerful biblical account of Jesus taking the 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed the masses. The disciples in this story recognized that they lacked the resources to feed thousands of hungry people. There is ALWAYS the issue of human limitation. We could use more _________ (fill in the blank … prayer support, financial resources, volunteers … the list goes on and on and on). Yet the biblical account of feeding the masses completely turned when the disciples brought what they had and gave it to Jesus. Little is much when God is in it.