Today we (Greg & Helen Reader) visited Sitio Lambak and Krus na Ligas, two adjacent squatter communities which our own church in Hamilton has a long connection with. Dave and Alison Witt lived in this community for an extended time, involved in some of the early community development and church planting work here. It was amazing to see the slow but steady progress which has been happening over the last decade and more. There is great stability, security and quality of life with paved streets, organized electricity supply and a lot of small but apparently thriving local shops. And the church continues to grow and be engaged in the community. Here are some reflections from Jen Kirk:
Today’s trip to Sitio Lambak was a bit surreal. After winding our way through a Labyrinth of narrow streets lined with squatter homes and inquisitive faces, we came to the small house where the Witts spent a couple years ministering to their neighbours.
I tried to imagine what it must have been like for them living there (giving up all the comforts of North America to live shoulder to shoulder with those whom they were serving), what it must have been like when
Alison’s parents David and Vivienne came to visit them. All my own memories of praying for Alison and seeing the pictures of her in this place flooded back. As we were heading to the place where Pastor Nards (a former disciple of Dave) serves meals to the children in the neighbourhood, we met a girl named Rose who still remembers the Witts. We got a picture of her and promised to say hi to Alison when we saw her. God showed me such a beautiful picture of missionary work at its best. He took Dave and Alison and used them in such a powerful way-they were outsiders, novelties because of their differences and the locals would have been drawn to them. They became like the locals-lived like them, loved them like family, shared with them, mentored them, and then empowered them to take over the ministry-knowing that in some ways the locals were more fit for work in their own neighbourhood because of the particular gifts and understanding that God had given them. I am thankful for this overseas trip and am also longing for home and the chance to serve in my own church, my own community, and my own city where God has been preparing me for years…
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