Prospect Park Church of Christ
I spent the first 18 years of my life in a sheltered, homeschooled, Christian home and attended one small church in NJ with my family. I went to Tampa for a couple of years for college and then moved to the Bronx where I lived for two years and was part of a small Spanish speaking congregation. Those two years were spent mostly with young kids in the area and they were filled with thousands of miles of driving, late night talks, spaghetti dinners, all the brokenness and pain that the world has to offer, and all the hope and light that Christ can bring to that darkness. Life was real and raw. I remember one night vividly – my friends and I took some kids to a gospel meeting in NJ, and then broke up a physical fight of Brooklyn v Newark kids on the steps outside the church building as we left. After those two years, I got married and moved to Atlanta. I went to a congregation of 300, with sound teaching, and a diligent, faithful eldership. The 4-year-old class alone had more kids than a church I used to visit in NJ. I guess most people would have found that really encouraging, but I came in frustrated and prejudiced against any group that had it so “easy”. I was there 7 years and had to confront a lot of prejudices and judgments I had toward the “rich” in Christ. It was a painful refining process for my personal faith and character. It took me a while to see the brokenness that exists in everyone’s life and that no matter your circumstances, we are all in need of the King’s healing. By the end I loved where I was, the people I was with, and the work we were doing. Now I am back in New York (Brooklyn this time), married with two kids, in a 10-month-old church that hovers around 30 people. Life from the outside has looked very different at each transition, but the reality is that people are the same everywhere. All are broken, mourning captives and we are all in need of the liberty, favor, and gladness that only the Lord brings. Hopefully, our presence here will be as “Oaks of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Grace and Peace, The Halls
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Church, Prejudices, Confront, Raw, Real, New York