Jul 08 2012

La Lengua de Lazarus: We Who Are Many, Are One

Original post at http://lenguadelaz.blogspot.com/2012/07/we-who-are-many-are-one.html

One of the greatest privileges I have had since moving to dallas is to be a member of a New Day lead team. Earlier today I helped to facilitate our service. The New Day community that I am a part of is New Day Amani which meets in the Amani House located in the Indigo apartment complex. Indigo is a diverse community that is filled with immigrants from a multitude of countries. So far, New Day Amani has attracted mostly African refugees and asylum seekers. We have found that we are attracting more children than adults. Today there were 22 people who attended the service and 14 of them were children ranging in ages from toddlers to teenagers.

Leading a service that extends across generations can often times be very difficult. We are working through the book of Acts and todays scripture was Acts 14:8-18. We first read the story in English and Swahili and then I stood up, walked to the white board, and grabbed a marker. I asked everyone how the story began and they explained that there was a man who could not walk. I asked for a volunteer to draw a man who could not walk and although they were hesitant, one of the kids walked up and drew a picture. We then continued with the story and I would stop at each of the main points and ask another person to draw what that part of the story looked like. By the end all of the kids were jumping up to participate.

They Finished their artwork and then stepped back to see the story they had read come to life. Each person contributed to the story in naming the characters and events as well as lending their artistic skills. The contributions which were many, now made one piece of art. This was not merely a children's message that split up the adult service but was a vital part in telling the story of scripture. After we had discussed the story in detail, we then opened up for a time of testimony. 

As I mentioned before, New Day is a very diverse community with people from many different nations, cultures, traditions, and political backgrounds. Each person began speaking in the language most comfortable to them. Everything that was said was translated in at least one other language.The testimonies mirrored the story we read of Acts of people being healed by their faith in God. Healing of both the physical and the spiritual. They shared of the beauty that can come from ugly situations. They shared of perseverance and faith, no matter what the situation.

My brothers and sisters from New Day are people who have truly struggled and have remained faithful to their friends, their family, and their God. Faith is not merely a word, but life. Many of them would not be alive today if it were not for their faith in God. I could never begin to understand the difficulties that they have gone through, but I can stand with them today as a brother in Christ. New Day is a place where they can feel safe. New Day is a place that no matter what you look like, or where you come from, or how much you do or do not have, you are welcome.  In fact, New Day is not just a place, but a people. The people of New Day have found ways to cross more boundaries than I even knew existed. As I stood in a circle, holding hands with my fellow people of New Day I realized that I was one of only two people in the room who were white and born in the US. I also realized, that it didn't matter. It did not matter where we came from, or how we got there. What mattered is that at that moment, as we held hands and prayed, we who were many, were one.



About the author

Brandon Lazarus

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