‘In the spirit of the ‘Fête des Voisins’ (‘Neighbour’s Party’ – an annual event across France) we will be putting out a table in front of our house next Friday. If any of you want to come and bring some food or drink to share, you’ll be most welcome to come and share some quality time together’.
The boys went round our street, (which is like a horseshoe shape), putting simple flyers into all of the houses’ letterboxes. For some time now, we’d felt that God had laid on our hearts to find a way of connecting our neighbourhood and getting to know some fellow-residents. We had some positive feedback, and were encouraged even by those who couldn’t come, but were genuinely appreciative of the initiative.
So on the given Friday, we were blessed by:
- Seeing and meeting folk we had never met – around 25 people turned up
- Enjoying some incredible food and drink! (including some good home-made stuff!)
- Opportunities to share about God and our ‘experimental’ church vision
- Hearing some difficult stories, and seeing opportunities to serve.
- So many expressions of goodwill, and ‘thank-you’
‘It seems to have changed the atmosphere of the neighbourhood to have done that’, said one lady last week.
A very simple idea has led to opportunities to go and cut a neighbour’s lawn, increased conversations when we walk up and down the road, a chance to discover some hidden gifts (one lady’s granddaughter is an incredible singer!), and more of a focus for praying.
So in an individualistic society, building community is such a key aspect of God’s upside kingdom, and food is such a key component of that. We are grateful to God for this new door opening, and pray for wisdom in knowing how best to invest in it.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.” Matt 13:44