About 4 more months have gone by, time for next update: (7/7/03)
* Met up with a few quiet-achiever type Christians in BG who now pray for, and celebrate the progress of the neighborhood with us. We had a BBQ with them initially to get to know, and then get on the same page. As the days got colder, we ate inside but the prayers and celebrating heated up…
* The meeting is called “CHEERS” – partly because of the drinks we share, but also because the main aim is to spot and then “cheer” for anything good (godly) that happens in BG. Anything bad, we pray for. Cheers meets fortnightly.
Here’s a list of some of the good things we’ve Cheered for…
– the Residents Association organisers (old and new) do care about BG.
– Old Santa Claus guy who gives lollies away to all the neighborhood at Christmas
– M who saw his brother needed some professional help, and came to ask on his behalf
– Anglican kids club that meets weekly here for the last 8 years
– Breaky Club every morning, for primary school kids, for years
– primary school staff & parents
– P&T who gave away a TV cabinet for free for someone without one
– D who fixes people’s cars
– foster parents in BG
– anonymous donors who supplied funds for kids to go to camp
– Sal’s playgroup
There’s also heaps of answers to prayer, for example:
– unemployed man got work;
– depressed lady calms down;
– hungry family gets bread; and later, Beachway arrive (see next *.)
– vandals got arrested (we only asked they’d stop!);
– small drugs awareness program comes to town;
– P’s chronic fatigue healed
– a woman’s ovulation occurs (now we’re being more specific)
– couple start sorting out finances at last
– G gets access & numerous meetings in MLA office re school matter
So that’s “Cheers.”
* Beachway food service Mondays and Wednesdays just started in May (onya Keith & Viv).
– people there now starting to linger and chat
* At Sal’s playgroup, one of the ladies & her man, want to get married, but have very low funds, so were just going to register. But the ladies said, “It’s you’re wedding. You can’t just do that…” Sal said, “Geoff’ll do it for half-a-carton.” And within a fortnight, vouchers had been arranged for everything from flowers to car-hire, ceremony, arvo tea, venue… It looks like happening around October-ish. Now doesn’t THAT smell like Jesus?
* We had another couple of street party-type meals, before we moved to the new house a few blocks away. We really miss seeing those neighbors. It was only 6 months, but they’re great friends. They all eventually came for a housewarming of the new house for just those neighbors. We are still keeping touch with them.
* The new neighbors are located a bit further away from us – sort of down the street a bit. But we met some of them already, and then…
* along came our 3rd baby. So we’ve been a bit pre-occupied right now.
Next steps we can see for us:
* We’re a bit confused about land. We have no desire for land of buildings or any infrastructure. But there’s a lot of support for us making a play for the block of land designated for a church site in BG. Tenders have to be in by July 15, so tonight Cheers is meeting to see what, if anything, we might want to do with land /a building! Needless to say, we’re wondering what BG residents’ prayer “languages” might be: art? bush? garden? labyrinth? a hall for what? – coffee? kids? amphitheatre? stained glass reflections? The BG community hall is next door, so we dont want to duplicate that… but what? The way support has just fallen together for it, we have to pay attention (is it something God wants us to have?), but we are also a bit confused (but why?!).
* Apart from that, we’re starting to pray that our relationships & conversations will progress to deeper levels, of articulating the search for Jesus way forward for each person.
* And we need to meet our new neighbors a bit more too.
* I’m still involved in fighting to keep the local primary school at k-7 (instead of the current situation where the govt will soon reduce it k-3.) The survey I’ve been working on (with the Ed dept – howzat!) should happen in the next month or so…