loving on the neighborhood

In response to our Generosity Challenge, one of our house communities prayed and asked God what to do. And He began showing Mayra images of kids in the neighborhood that she used to live in. And how many of these kids have few positive influences and basically nothing to do the entire summer.

So the group began doing free bi-weekly BBQ’s in June – food, crafts and games for the kids and just hanging out with whomever wants to come out. It has been an incredible experience and we’re looking forward to how God will continue to lead us. A few highlights:

  • Indian, Asian, Latino kids all playing cricket together.
  • Meeting an African refugee family in the neighborhood.
  • Praying for people who need prayer.
  • Magic shows for the kids.
  • Over 200 hotdogs BBQ’d.
  • Hearing about the struggles of the neighborhood.
  • Listening to people’s stories and meeting people from over 8 different countries.

We’ve been doing every other Thursday and will be transitioning to weekends. We’ll be going again this Thursday [8/5], but contact us at info@ihaven.org for what day we’ll transition to. Come on out and share a dog, play some cricket and just be Jesus to a neighborhood.

This week:

August 5th – THURSDAY – 6:00-8:30p [come anytime]
Meeting in front of 2299 Pasetta Drive, Santa Clara

Some more photos HERE and HERE courtesy of Luis.

Birthday Brunch for Jesus

This year’s Christmas worship will turn into a big birthday brunch to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We’ll have a handful of friends from the Victorians coming over and celebrating the fact that there really is HOPE in this world… and it begins in Jesus.

The house communities will divvy up the potluck duties – so check in with your house community. But there should be plenty of food, so bring your buddy and your grandma and come on out to celebrate this Christmas together.

Le Petit Trianon Theatre
72 North Fifth St. – UPSTAIRS
San Jose – 95112
9:55am  – SUNDAY – December 20th

Question to ponder for this Sunday… “How have you seen new birth in your life this past year?”

More info? Contact us at info[at]ihaven.org.

Don’t Forget… [Easter 2009]

It was a full and fruitful Easter weekend – each of our house communities celebrated Good Friday with a traditional Passover Seder dinner… the dinner many Jewish families traditionally celebrate during Passover and the last meal Jesus had with his disciples before he went to the Cross. We don’t have a lot of pictures because I think people were busy participating. But we learned how Jesus used the Passover Seder to foreshadow what he would do on the Cross… to bring freedom and hope to a dying world.

Easter Sunday was a full day starting with a sunrise worship hike at 6:30am @ Montgomery Hill in San Jose.

 

As we walked the trail, we recounted Jesus’ journey to the Cross and the moments after the resurrection. We realized though we celebrate Easter every year, we so easily forget the freedom, joy and victory that was achieved on the Cross and in the resurrection. That we no longer need to let the guilt, the shame, the anger, the fear hang over us anymore. It no longer separates us from God [because of what Jesus did] and we have the freedom/power to reconcile with others. That’s huge.

 

We were also reminded that we need to spread the life we were given in Jesus. We weren’t meant to keep it to ourselves, but to give it away as freely and often as possible: both the truth and the love. 

Afterwards, it was time for brunch at the Hom’s… and as always, it was time to feast… waffles, hash browns, enchiladas [I think], bacon and lots of other stuff. It’s taken time, but we’ve all grown to be family together… we’ve cried together, celebrated together, worked out issues together. And the fruit of all that was a simple pleasure we all shared as we sat, ate, laughed and reminisced. Lisa jumped in to make waffles, new girls-friends were made to feel at home, Alan taught Billy how to chop wood and we all took naps on the couch. Real family is hard to come by – and it was a blessing from God that morning.

   

We finished our Easter Sunday with lunch with our friends at the Victorians. The Victorians are boarding houses for many who are formerly homeless and have some form of mental illness. We’ve had a long relationship with our friends there and Billy and Leo took care of bringing buffalo wings and hot dogs to share. It has not always been easy when we’ve done this in the past. We’ve had to get over our own uncomfortableness; learn how to talk to people who are not like us [at all]. And learn to love by just showing up. 

After several years of sporadically spending time there, I think we can say that they are our friends [or more like they’re gracious to consider us their friends]. It’s true that they give us more than we give them. Sure we bring all the food, but they remind us that God loves them just as much as he loves us… just because we’re a little cleaner, have jobs, have gone to school doesn’t make us any more loved and them any less loved. They teach us about the Gospel every time we go. 

   

Thanks folks for a rich Easter season – until next time [though lunch with the Vic’s will happen again soon].