here is a way for you to explain to others as you are preparing to come to The Refuge:
- The Refuge is a community of believers who have intentionally moved into an inner city neighborhood to begin to love their neighbors. Being situated next to the downtown City Rescue Mission, we are learning to love our neighbors (crack dealers, prostitutes, homeless, and business owners). In an effort to love God and love our neighbor we are aiming our attention on physically serving others through the labor of love, that relationally we might begin to instill trust, so that a spiritual transformation might happen. Practically, to wash ones feet for us looks like, picking up trash, painting fences, mowing empty fields, sweeping streets, cutting down trees branches, cleaning out abandoned fields.
- Come prepared to get dirty, but while serving physically, be in prayer that you might reach out to the neighbors here.
- In an effort to shift the homeless population in how the church continues to feed them, our approach is to simply love them through relationship. So, it is our goal that we invite them to serve along side of us. This keeps our relationship in a 2 way rather than one way relationship. For example, we don’t see the homeless people as a project but a person that can offer us something as we can offer them something. That something is called relationship. We believe in side each of us, we long to have intimate community and accountability with God and others. Therefore, we don’t have to offend that person by simply handing them something for free, but to simply reach our hand out in joining with us in a relationship.
- Some suggest, that passing out food to the homeless is the first step to reaching out to them in relationship. The only problem with that in our neighborhood is that it is only coming through a consumer oriented relationship. Suburbanites who are consumer oriented or passing out food and clothing to a consumer oriented urbanite. But sectors of our city are consumers/takers. We want to what would happen if we became producers/givers. Therefore, the one thing both sides have to give away is self. If you abide with Father and Jesus, love one another, we will produce fruit.