London, England is an epicenter for cultural development. What happens in London doesn’t seem to stay in London. Business ventures, style trends, fine arts movements, and social reform may start within the walls of Big Ben and Parliament, but they flow outward like the River Thames, beyond the realm of the big city and to previously unknowing neighbors. A speck of an idea can float to the heart of Great Britain or it can float out to the open sea to distant lands that wait. Despite what the geography of the United Kingdom wants you to believe, “no man is an island” after all, but rather each person is as capable of influencing, as he/she is capable of being influenced. In London, the transformation of an individual has the potential to influence the world at large. Can anything good come out of London? Can anything good come out of Waco?
Suppose a local ministry in the United Kingdom recognizes it’s alignment for outward influence, promotes Gospel-centered restoration in a community, and such a community becomes a change agent for the nation. If our God is for this, what could ever stop it? Such logic is the rationale for Harris Creek’s approach to young adults in Waco, Texas. In the proximity of Baylor University and Truett Seminary, there is prolific potential to influence the local community and make a lasting difference in the world. All that’s needed is a catalyst for opportunity, but it begins with knowing the surrounding context and it begins with you, a real life human being created in the image of God. With God’s breath in our lungs, each person—whether young adult or not—is capable of mobilizing the grace and truth of the Gospel. To say it another way, we each can participate (in word and in deed) in the continuing story of God’s pursuit of peace for all creation.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Through theological training and cultural engagement, Harris Creek perpetuates her mission to seek the welfare of the city, and specifically through an opportunity in the United Kingdom, Harris Creek will be partnering with ministries on the other side of the pond that could influence our approach in Waco, Texas. This summer, three young adults will be spending two months (June-July) serving alongside One Church Brighton in an immersion experience that will likely shape these interns more than the interns will alter Brighton. To be clear, this is not your father’s mission trip.
Will there be a chance to share the Good News with someone hearing the name of Jesus for the first time? Quite possibly. Is it expected that these interns know something that this foreign land does not possess? Not likely. Will these interns be expected to demonstrate their faith through outward actions and conversations? Most definitely.
With One Church Brighton, the interns will go to camp with the youth ministry; they will serve food at a citywide outreach event; they will learn about the ins-and-outs of a farmer’s market and sustainability practices; they will be social workers assessing the needs of the community; they will be volunteers working with youth; they will support improved employment practices and safehouse projects; they will be friends offering a listening ear over afternoon tea. Then, they will come home. They will return to Waco and try to do it all again. Here.
In our endeavor to bear witness the peace of Christ, sometimes we need to have a change of perspective, getting out of our normal rhythms to see life in a different time zone. The hope of course is to return back to our hut as an initiated soul having undergone a rite of passage that leaves us completely different from before, yet altogether the same in intent: bearing witness to peace. A day, a trip, an experience when we have seen God in a new way leaves us no other choice but to look beyond our self and to look outward indeed.
Our city could be radically different in the future because three souls decided to spend their summer in the United Kingdom.
Do you want to be a part of such a transformation? Here’s what you can do to show your support:
- Write an encouragement note to the interns in the comment section below or click on their photos below to visit their personal blogs.
- Give financially to assist in the cost of airfare, lodging, and per diem.
- Pray for the interns, for One Church Brighton, and for God to prepare the way for peace to be brought home to Waco.
- Complete an application to be considered for a future opportunity with Harris Creek’s Training Institute: UK.
Training Institute: UK Participants
Click on their photos to view their personal blogs dialoguing about their journey.