They came, they saw, they laughed, (I think they cried a little) and we hope they will return.
We had a great time with five friends from Oliver Alliance church this weekend. Jeremy Cook, their lead Pastor, and four others from that community drove to Vancouver and met with us Saturday afternoon, stayed for the evening service and rejoined us for a special time together on Sunday morning.
Right from the start, when Patrick led us in a talking circle with our talking stick, we knew we were in for a great time together. The excitement, openness and willingness to enter into whatever was happening created a strong context for a time of learning and friendship.
We so much appreciated their openness. Diane, a friend from Oliver, humbly extended God's word to us that we are loved and accepted and that someone specifically needed to hear that. I'm not sure if it was specifically for me, but I certainly received it as a word in season. Others shared of how they felt the presence of God and were struck by our vulnerability and freedom. Praise God! If someone describes Mosaic as a community which is vulnerable and free, it confirms to me that God is at work here.
After a special time of worship Saturday night at which we had a great turn out, we enjoyed great conversation and fellowship. The Oliver folks really extended their hearts to us, and later told us of the meaningful conversations they had with their new Mosaic friends. It was so encouraging having some "outside voices" speak into our lives.
Sunday morning we reconvened and spent a little more time de-briefing from Saturday night. Then we shared about the issues facing Vancouver, and specifically the Downtown Eastside. Phoenix led us on a walk through downtown and spoke further about housing, poverty, gentrification as well as art, poetry and community. It was very educational and I know that it was an eye-opening experience for our Oliver guests. One said that we had "blown [their] minds"!
So we want to thank Eileen, Sheila, Jeremy, Ron, and Diane for visiting with us, blessing our ministry and opening the door to more mutual transformation. We hope and pray that what you saw and heard and who you met has somehow helped you see the Kingdom of God more clearly and helped you experience his grace more deeply.