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Something Old, Something New: A REACH Update

By Edith, REACH Team Himalayas

The 2017-18 REACH participants are now three weeks into discipleship training school (DTS) at the Rosedale International Center (RIC). Every week one member from each team writes a blog post about the week.

The RIC hasn't changed much in the four years since I attended City Challenge. The entrance is the same, the rooms are the same, the face of Kevin,* SEND Director, is the same (aside from a few extra gray hairs). It's familiar with good, old memories from the days when I was fifteen.

Everything else, however, is new and different. Aside from one, all of the REACHers are people I've never met before. Life is schedule – outreach, life groups, service projects, recreation, and sessions. Sometimes I catch myself wondering what I'm doing here, but then a letter from my church family arrives; or my team leader says one of his perfect one-liners and we're rolling on the floor; or I am out on the street, surrounded by my team and praying for a lady whose husband is in jail and seeing her wipe her eyes as she walks away, and I know why I'm here.

This is the first week we went to two different places for outreach: one to a Himalayan community here in Columbus and the other to House of Hope, which provides assistance in treating drug addictions and rehabilitation. They couldn't be more different. At the Himalayan community we played Frisbee and blew bubbles with kids. At House of Hope, Valerie and I sorted and folded clothes for their clothes boutique while the guys emptied trash, signed people in, or washed chairs. The Himalayan community is in the dirt and grass, outside under the blue and white speckled sky with children yelling and laughing and running around like their energy is limitless. House of Hope is clean and orderly with a room in the back for sorting clothes where quiet reigns except for the occasional beeping of a door alarm. They couldn't be more different, but both of them speak to my team members and myself in different ways.

“Learning to live in community is new for me, but it is part of being the body of Christ, and I'm excited to see how all of us change and grow during the next nine months.”We had fun life group on Wednesday, led by our team leader. He took us to the Book Loft in German Village. It's a perfect place with 32 different rooms full of books of different genres. The music changed from room to room – from traditional Irish music, to jazz, to Beethoven’s classics, to rap, to birds chirping and on and on it goes, up winding staircases, and back narrow hallways that open into another treasure trove of knowledge.

So here we are, being challenged, stretched, and grown. My teammates' personalities are becoming more distinct and complex. We're not without fault or struggle, but we're committed to encouraging and supporting each other. Learning to live in community is new for me, but it is part of being the body of Christ, and I'm excited to see how all of us change and grow during the next nine months.

Please pray that these teams will continue to grow in unity and purpose. To read more team updates, check out the REACH team blogs here: http://send-me.org/reach/blogs.html

*Name omitted for security