Darren* initially became involved with an Empowered Faith Community through the COACH Community Mentoring program. His mentor, Robert, encouraged Darren to use his passion for cooking to benefit others by working in the kitchen, where he prepared meals alongside Jill.
Although Jill and Darren come from very different social spaces, they became great mates, developing a bond that became loving and caring. Jill, a grandmother, had raised her family while operating successful restaurant businesses. Darren, having left school before he turned 15 years old, had learned to cook in prison. While working together in the early stages of their relationship, Darren would often regale Jill with colourful stories of his past and present situations, not necessarily to amuse himself but in part to see how Jill would respond. Jill realised that she needed to listen and be non-judgemental, exercising patience and perseverance.
Over time, as their relationship grew and trust was formed and earned, Darren came to rely on Jill for spiritual wisdom and guidance. Jill had earned the right over a significant period of time to ask challenging, reflective questions of Darren. Darren’s positive regard and sense of love for Jill was such that he phoned her for Mother’s Day to thank her for her contribution to his life. Darren describes Jill as a role model. Jill exemplifies the need to be highly relational and low in challenge in the values gap, recognising that transformation is incremental and a long journey. These are great qualities in a Spiritual Parent in Empowered Faith Communities. Our hope is that with Spiritual Parents building trusting and safe relationships, honesty and vulnerability can form, leading to transformation.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
“I was struggling to find stable and safe housing… I found myself renting in a Caravan Park as permanent housing, feeling quite isolated and anxious about moving into a new area with no contacts or social support and no real purpose…
The New Peninsula Baptist Church gave me a food parcel and told me about the Wednesday Night Community Meal… During my journey with the group, I have come to faith in Christ and was baptised. I have developed a sense of belonging and purpose in my life. After we have our meal, we meet around some couches and discuss life and spirituality. We have learned that despite our challenging life circumstances.
God has given all of us strengths and passions to share with others that can make a difference in our local community.”
To our EFC community we would love to hear about the amazing things that are happening in your EFC community and are always looking for more to share.
If you would like to share your story with us please let us know!
David had engaged with churches in the past but had difficulty forming a sense of belonging. He felt frozen out of mainstream church…
Sharon began engaging with Empowered Faith Community in a circumstance of homelessness…
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