Spirit of Acadiana: Development of the Christian community

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana – “It’s called a ‘Christian Community Development’ course, and over the weekend – here at Bayou Church – people came together, from all walks of life, to help move the needle, to realize that we are much better together than when we were apart. Leading the way, Dr Jimmy Dorrell.

“The call is to get out of our place of safety and security and go into pain,” says Dorrell. “The word ‘compassion’ comes from two Latin words, ‘to enter’ into ‘pain.’ And so the most difficult part for many Christians who care for the poor is how to get out of a place that is nice. and easy, and go in the middle of the struggle of “what does it mean not to have meals for my kids today”? “

“Some of the things we are talking about today and tomorrow,” Dorrell told the crowd, “are deep and systemic, and there are issues and issues we need to talk about that are painful at times.”

Dorrell —- a legend in revitalizing neighborhoods and building relationships between the poor in Waco, Texas — says the key to improving everything, especially in community development, is forming relationships and solid partners, listening and sharing.

The organizers of Bridge Ministry, Hope for Opelousas and New Hope followed this message when they teamed up to bring Dorrell to Acadiana.

“A lot of people don’t get involved because they don’t know what to do, how to do things, so Jimmy gives us some practical ideas on how we can involve the poor and make a difference,” the co- organizer John Newman of the Lafayette association New hope.

Relationships that’s what it’s all about, ”adds co-organizer Loren Carriere of Hope for Opelousas. “God created us to be relational creatures. And whenever we move away from certain parts of our community, we have no way of knowing who certain people are. And so for us, it’s about being able to do relational work. That’s what Jesus did. “

Dorrell’s goal is to motivate the 75 participants to get out into poor Acadiana communities, keep up their work and maybe take things up a notch.

“The priority of the kingdom of God costs us more than just a check,” adds Dorrell. “He is commitment, It is relationships and we find out when we do this, we are changing too. “

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Norma P. Rex

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