This past week our staff attended the CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) National Conference in New Orleans, LA. At CCDA we found like-minded brothers and sisters from across the US and the world. Speakers ranged from experts of fields, to addicts who have recently recovered. Mostly we heard from other folks who are in the trenches, practitioners who have been in the struggle of loving people and broken communities for many years.
The biggest take away for me was simple: Relationships. There is no special sauce, no quick fix for brokenness. Love and real friendships are the answer. It’s what Jesus did, and the answer to the problem hasn’t changed.
So when Monday rolled around I couldn’t wait to see my guys at the “Real Talk” Bible Study we do weekly, going through a book called The Good Life. That Monday happened to be the one-month anniversary of our friend Jaylin’s death, and several of our guys weren’t there. It suddenly hit me how much I loved these guys and how much they meant to me. As conversation went around we decided to go visit Jaylin’s grave. Somehow fishing came up and I could see an excitement in their eyes...Bible studies are extremely important but sometimes you just need to go fishing. So that’s what we did. We didn’t even catch much, but being together enjoying life and watching the sun set was priceless.