At 5AM you’re awoken by strong knocks on the church door. Tito arrives and starts moving tables while you slowly wake up, and within an hour your cots are gone and the church basement is transformed into a banquet where the rich and poor break bread: a breakfast with our homeless neighbors. Such was the explosive beginning to our pilot project, ServeUP Brockton! For 10 years we have sent students to New Orleans and Tampa for Gulf Coast relief projects with an evangelistic twist, bringing non-Christian friends to experience the Way of Jesus.
Since I began planting the ministry at BSU four years ago, I have dreamt of bringing a similar project to our own backyard. Thanks to some phenomenal local ministry partners, we successfully executed our first program at the end of May. Students from across RI & SE MA engaged homelessness, prostitution and poverty over the course of a week of service.
After students looked at the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8, we surprised them and took them to live out that scripture on the streets of Brockton. Led by local and experienced church members, we went where no one would go unless compelled by Jesus. We brought cookies and Chinese takeout to check in on God’s children: the homeless, the pimps and the prostitutes of downtown Brockton by night.
We brought with us the peace of Christ, and pimps who have never shown tenderness showed us kindness, women who feel so scared and alone were comforted, held and prayed for, and each of us was changed by the imprint of God’s love on our hearts that night.
This is what the kingdom of God looks like.
By, Erin Corry