Jesus People USA

The Coulombes had a great time at Jesus People USA last week!

We were welcomed by Anna, the gal in charge of hospitality of volunteers and guests, and directed to our humble abode that our family would be living in for the next 7 days.

We then took a couple days to settle in and get adjusted to the new schedule and new surroundings.  They provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the residents, guests, and volunteers.  What a treat!  Having our own apartment AND being served each meal was like vacation to us!

During last week we “did life” with Jesus People.  Each day was filled with meeting new people, eating with everyone in the cafeteria, participating in the food bag program at the shelter, watching the kids all play together on the playground, figuring out the bus system, visiting some of the Chicago city parks, doing laundry in the basement of JPUSA late at night, and joining everyone for church on Sunday.

One of the biggest things that stood out to us was the diversity of JPUSA.  The top three levels of the building was an assisted living community that Jesus People took care of and lived with.  A group of students had just been welcomed to start the Project 12 program that is an intensive discipleship program for newcomers.  Then there are all the folks who have made the commitment to live there and call it “home”.  Many of them had been there for 10+ years, raising their families there and taking part in the common work that supports the financial burdens of the community.  All these people consisted of whites, blacks, goths, punks, travelers, children, young families, elderly, jocks, artists, musicians, hippies, and even a pirate who greeted Andy with “Ahoy!”.  It was a beautiful picture of the kingdom of God.

Honestly, our time at Jesus People was a place that ministered to us.  We were blessed by their gracious hospitality and welcoming spirits.  We left knowing that we had made friends and kindred spirits.  We were encouraged by their stories and what the Lord had taught them through living in a community of believers.  They had experienced ups and downs, times of passion, times of complacency, change, division, mistakes made within their community, joy, heartache, and many, many times of working through differences.  Someone made a statement that really summed it up, “You either come and learn or you realize you are not ready and leave.”  Community is not easy but can bring more joy than you could ever experience on your own.

Serenity for Mustard Seed Ministries

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