Written by Jennifer A. Guerra Aldana for Fuller Youth Institute. Jennifer currently serves as a pastor of La Fuente Ministries–a bilingual, intercultural ministry of Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene.
On the outskirts of Los Angeles, there is a group of multicultural young men who have committed to live together under one roof. Their decision to live together did not come from a desire to have cheaper rent, but rather out of a deep commitment to live and serve together.
Over time, their home has become a hub for ministry meetings, youth group, church potlucks, birthday celebrations, and everything in between. As we got to know the ways that their church was faithfully engaging their multiethnic and multicultural neighborhood, their shared home was constantly mentioned as a highlight of what God is doing. We heard stories of students in their community who came from difficult family dynamics and challenging socioeconomic realities. In response to these complex situations, these young men offered their home as a safe place. They put love into action.
As they extended an array of invitations and welcomed others into their home, they transformed their living space to be a holy space—a space for God to meet all who were seeking to belong. It was in listening to and facing the realities of local young people that they began to offer meals and empathy to all who would walk through their door. What may have been perceived as another group of young adults with mismatched furniture was, in fact, a taste of heaven on earth. This work does not come easy, but it is a work to which they are committed.
Like these young adults, all over the US there are young people who are leading the way in engaging the complex realities of our neighborhoods and responding with a commitment to see God’s love in action. I have never been more hopeful for the future of the church.
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