16 Jul Outreach in Boston
What a sweet three weeks our team has had so far. From July 4th celebrations, to Taco Wednesdays, to quiet moments in bustling coffee shops, Boston has continued to prove that daily life is far from ordinary this summer.
Allston, the neighborhood we are serving in, has turned out to be a perfect fit for our team. With a relaxed atmosphere that thrives off of college students’ impact in the area, Allston is known as a collegiate neighborhood filled with places to eat and hole-in-the-wall shops. A stark dichotomy of Boston’s historical nature and an appreciation for youthful intellectualism drives the neighborhood to its reputation of a young, urban center.
Filled with thrift stores, coffee shops, and more restaurants than we can keep up with, there is an endless variety of ways to minister to people throughout our time spent here. One of the most frequent projects is connected with the local community center: Four teenagers have been given the chance to open their own thrift shop in order to create sustainable business and train other teenagers the value of a work ethic. We have been able to assist these teenagers with basic organization, graphic design, and even social media presence. This time has allowed for the formation of relationships with both the teenagers and the leaders at the community center – and these relationships have spurred great conversation to the heart of why we’re here serving this summer. Additionally, a great portion of our time is spent in coffee shops. We have been able to build many relationships through this – baristas, locals, and tourists alike are regularly eager to learn our name and converse with us about our time in Boston.
Our team has had multiple chances to meet with many of Allston’s current leaders, both in and out of the church. These conversations lead to both challenging and encouraging observations about the direction of Allston and what a church plant in the next few years would look like. While the statistics of Christianity in Boston (2% evangelical Christian) look bleak on paper, local pastors have told us that God is explicitly working in the hearts of those in Boston, especially among minority groups. Churches are growing and reaching out to the community in order to love them well with the gospel. New changes in school administration are being pushed so that religious groups may give aid to school children. Much is happening for the kingdom in Allston and in Boston as a whole.
Through this trip, our team has consistently been reminded that God is faithful in the details. Many gospel conversations have taken place with those in the community, and there have been multiple times to simply love on and listen to individuals here in Allston. God has repeatedly created ways to serve so many people here in unexpected and surprising ways. During our short time in Allston, God is continuing to knit our hearts together and give us hunger for His Word, that we might be all the nearer to His heart. This season of living out the Great Commission certainly looks different than usual and even different than we might have anticipated for this summer, but God is opening up doors wherever He wills. We are constantly reminding ourselves that we are, in a sense, here to lay the groundwork for generations to come, but there is still so much to be done in the finite and small details now. It is humbling to be a part of this much larger work this summer.
Please continue to pray that our team would grow closer together as we grow closer to Christ, and that our ultimate vision here remains clear even as we recently crossed the halfway point on our trip. It is incredible that there are only two more weeks left in this journey until we are all sent back to our normal routines, but it is so wonderful to see all that has happened already.
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24