Community Center Rationale

Yesterday we kicked off yet another semester of community center activities. I had a 6 p.m. English class, with 6 students in our first class in Palmas 1, a neighborhood where we’ve had some activities already, beginning last summer, and continuing with the Grymaloskis giving English classes from September through December. We are meeting

After the class, both parents came to pick up their teenage daughter. I was able to speak to Rafael a bit. He said he has the opportunity to live and work in the U.S. for a period of time, near Atlanta. I mentioned several towns I’ve been to around Atlanta…Marietta and Lawrenceville. We had a brief but amiable conversation.

How do you initiate a conversation with people about spiritual things? What the community center approach allows us to do is to have a context in which to initiate and sustain relationships. So when I see Rafael next week, or bump into him on the street on at a taco stand, our relationship already has a foundation for friendship. I teach his daughter English.

You can read more about yesterday at co-worker Jim Cottrill’s blog, Finding Direction.

Quote: “Often life depends on doing our jobs well. But when it comes to working in another country or with another ethnic group, the research suggests we give priority to building and sustaining relationships.”

Duane Elmer. Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility (Kindle Locations 964-965). Kindle Edition.

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