Actions Speak Louder Than Words

As I process and look back on the past month in Kenya and think about all the amazing ways I saw God move I keep coming back to the word community.
“Community means caring: caring for people. Dietrich Bonhoeffer[1] says: “He who loves community destroys community; he who loves the brethren builds community.” A community is not an abstract ideal. We are not striving for perfect community. Community is not an ideal; it is people. It is you and I. In community we are called to love people just as they are with their wounds and their gifts, not as we would want them to be. Community means giving them space, helping them to grow. It means also receiving from them so that we too can grow. It is giving each other freedom; it is giving each other trust; it is confirming but also challenging each other. We give dignity to each other by the way we listen to each other, in a spirit of trust and of dying to oneself so that the other may live, grow and give.”                            Jean Vanier, From Brokeness to Community, pp 35-36
I love the line: “In community we are called to love people just as they are with their wounds and their gifts, not as we would want them to be.” That is true love!
This summer I was blessed to be a part of an amazing team that understood community. In just four weeks I saw them grow both together and in God in ways you would expect only from a team who had been together for 6 months or more.
Jesus said, “Just as I have loved you, you should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
I believe a powerful ministry the team took part in was exactly that…loving each other. It not only strengthened and encouraged individuals on the team itself but it spoke volumes to the people who witnessed it, especially those we were with everyday. Mama Ruth, our amazing chef told me how blessed she felt to spend three weeks with such a good team, who really loved and respected each other and the culture and people around them. Actions speak louder than words. I don’t think we will ever fully know to what extent the love our team showed toward each other impacted the people around us but I know it did because I saw Jesus in my team this summer in the way they lived in community so I know others did too.

From 10ke0616amb4.myadventures.org

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