“That’s like oil and water! They don’t mix. Will it even work?” she asked with noble intentions and a caring heart. “Well, I hear you but anything can work if God wants it so!”, I replied.
As I type this, I couldn’t resist voicing out the thought that just went through my mind! Doesn’t it sound a bit like a dialog taken out of a Winnie the Pooh book? Oops sorry I have read too many books to friends’ kids in the past and I got a bit hooked onto them!
It’s been on my heart for a few years – and I believe it’s a vision that God laid on my heart. Despite the lonnnnngggg waiting period, the passion doesn’t reduce over the years but rather grows!
- to refresh the saints
- a place of fellowship and belonging
- a SAFE place away from sin and temptation, to grow in the Lord
- have godly activities and entertainment too
- with refreshments made available.
- Shelter to be provided to whoever God leads.
- Rooms available for shelter, for volunteer missionaries to stay, for the office that will double up as a library, a room for crafts and cake decorating, space set apart for prayer and for any counselling… the list goes on.
Coffee shops in the country are a bit on the expensive side, so why not create a coffee shop atmosphere that would be conducive for fellowship and treat especially the people who are isolated from the social circles given financial restraints? Why not have it in a nice neighbourhood?. Members who can afford to contribute towards the coffee and refreshments would be welcome to drop in donations in the box while the others can enjoy it without doing so!
The target group needs to be narrowed down at least for starters! Singles are a group that are often overlooked or even neglected. They are often the ‘third wheel’, the ‘baggage’ or even subject to be ‘suspicious objects that threat many a marriages’. Sadly one or two real life stories give a prejudice or a stigma to all in the category.
Singles – whether never married, widowed or divorced… for those over 21, young and old and evergreen, males and females… to find fellowship and something to look forward to,
- to become a BODY OF CHRIST, where one part suffers ALL suffer and one part rejoices ALL rejoice.
- To help one another like the early church and share resources filling each other’s lack whether it be physical or material or emotional needs.
- The married who can see through the eyes of God with His heart of love can step in to fulfill community and be there for the members!
Activities such as craft and cake decorating can be taken a notch higher to contribute towards fund raising towards expenses of the centre as well as to help meet needs of people that God leads us to do so.
So where does oil and water come into the scene? The young and old! I know ‘churches’ love to have separate groups for EVERYthing… women’s groups, men’s group, kid’s groups, another for elderly, another for youth… But in my eyes, that promotes isolation and not togetherness. It facilitates a certain sense of segragation, an imbalanced community and thus a lack of love towards the rest of the body – unless of course done with a parallel combined group!
We do see young people being impatient towards the elderly and prefer their electronic gadgematics and toys created by people over spending time with other HUMAN beings that God created! On the other hand we see the elderly having many prejudices towards the behaviours of the young ones – from their dress codes to the activities to what not given the generation gap which keeps widening given this segregation. Ignorance can be bliss but it can also create much conflict and misunderstanding MURDERING relationships. Love goes out of the window but we are called to love one another.
When I study the Word, I don’t seem to recollect any situation where people were ministered to in different segments but all – including the children’ came together. In fact the Jewish boys (yes there was discrimination where girls weren’t allowed to study in one era) knew the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible) off by heart a certain age – I believe it was 10. Pardon me if I’m wrong with the details but the fact remains put!
I believe the Bible says each part is important and not one part can say to another, “I don’t need you!”. I believe that it’s all together is what makes the BODY.
I believe by facilitating a centre for the singles, we can help HEAL this important group of people removing the labels and stigmas that society has afflicted on them.. I believe by them realising their self worth and identity in Christ, they can live in the way that God has purposed for each one of them, not crumbling to what others expect of them. I believe then their lives can witness unto the love of Christ towards the church, and reach out to others. If we can’t love ourselves how can we love our neighbours? If we can’t love our neighbours, isn’t that not loving God but rather sinning?
CHRYSALIS – the proposed name for the centre- is a Greek word that signifies the stage of being in the cocoon. This is one of the proposed projects under Kenosis Ministries where Kenosis is the Greek word for self emptying. MORE OF CHRIST, LESS OF ME. The butterfly in the logo has its meaning too which is self explanatory I believe!
To sum up, Chrysalis:
- A church (without the speakers and mikes but like the early church) that meets in the home (Philemon 1:1)
- A place where partnership in the faith may be effective in deepening the understanding of every good thing we believers share for the sake of Christ (Philemon 1:6)
- A place where God’s love refreshes the hearts of the Lord’s people (Philemon 1:7)
- A home where guest rooms are prepared (Philemon 1:22)
And we will start by focusing on the singles.
Today, I humbly ask each one of you readers to help share this vision (by sharing this blog post) and pray for the following points:
- For God to open to right doors in the right location (I do have a desired location in my heart) that is conducive to meet the ministry needs.
- For the right people to be connected to help with the ministries – conduct activities, provide refreshments, minister to the members (spiritually, emotionally, helping with physical and material needs etc)..
- For financial provision of the expenses – overhead and monthly.
- For sponsors of the project – it would be great if 20 people can come forward to commit to US $50 monthly support which would then cover the rent for a large house in a central location.
- For God to prepare the hearts of the people who would become members
- For God’s Name to be glorified through all of this and for His Kingdom to be furthered.