Living on the margins goes against everything you and I are inclined to do. It’s a calling that requires a willingness to die to ourselves and suffer for the sake of others. A calling that’s often filled with deep disappointments and pain and a longing for the world to be made right.
At Jobs for Life (JfL), we watch people step into the margins on a daily basis. They do it not because they feel obligated. Instead, they do it because God’s Spirit is working in them and they realize the life they long for is found with people on the margins.
Over the past two years we’ve been listening to how the Spirit is moving through Jeff Salisbury and Bay Leaf Baptist Church. Jeff, the Community Missions Pastor, seeks to create pathways of opportunity for church members to engage and connect with the city. Jeff admits, in North Raleigh, it is easy to be distanced from communities of need. He, as well as the church, knew that needs existed but as Jeff says, “identifying the needs and pursuing a diversity of relationships representative of our true community requires stepping outside of normal pathways.”
As they began to put together a JfL class, they knew that they needed to go out into the community. Jeff and his team asked, “Where could we strategically place our JfL class so that it would be the most beneficial to our extended community?”
This question led them to renting an apartment within a Raleigh apartment complex. Yes, you read that correctly, an entire apartment. From the living room, mentors and students spill over into the kitchen—it is here, a marginal place, that the Bay Leaf Baptist JfL class found the most beneficial place to engage in meaningful relationships with their community.
“It has changed who we are, it has taught us a new series of questions, it has taught us a new way of looking at our city, it has taught us God’s faithfulness in ways that we didn’t know before. As a result of the class, members of Bay Leaf are experiencing life change by saying yes, and it’s changing who we are.”
In the Triangle Area – NC, we have a goal to raise $60,000 by the end of the year so that more churches, non-profits, and individuals may participate in this life-giving work. We are excited to also be leveraging a $50,000 match for all new investors to help us reach our overall goals.
I invite you to join with us to consider what it looks like to live life as our Savior did at the margins. Who knows what treasure we might find waiting for us there.
Your support has helped us accomplish the following in the Triangle Area - NC in 2016: