Where We've Been
We didn’t know much for certain, but we had a few things we knew we cared about. One was the local church. We know that church hasn’t always lived up to its potential, but we do believe that the Church is God’s active presence in the world and we wanted to help students learn to be a part of a local church community. Enter REUNION Christian Church. REUNION’s team moved to Boston to start a church the same time we did. We had similar friends in the New England area, namely Restoration House Ministries in Manchester, New Hampshire. It became obvious that God had orchestrated something passed either of our visions. We learned quickly that we could do much more partnering together than on our own.
We also knew we wanted to care for the forgotten. Jesus talks a lot about what love looks like, and most of the time it has to do with the poor, the widows, the orphans, and the immigrants. We started by volunteering with Starlight Ministries, a homeless outreach that existed not only to provide services but to build relationships, to love people most of us ignore. During our time in Boston new partnerships began to present themselves, and Nathan, taking Jesus’ example, moved to Dorchester, a neighborhood most people will tell you to avoid. So began our partnership with the Quincy Street community. What started out as a small Sunday school program has grown to be a full blown tutoring program helping kids in a forgotten neighborhood feel loved and cared for.
And obviously we cared about campus, the place where students spent most of their time. In a city like Boston, with over 60 campus in the area, getting started felt daunting. So we began by building relationships. We all found jobs close to, or on campuses and started meeting people. By 2006 we had our first community group, and now we’ve got 10 student groups that meet throughout the city, including 4 on different campuses. All of our campus expressions came about because students caught a vision of what the Kingdom of God could look like on their campus. We believe God wants us to join his mission of putting his family back together wherever we are, and for students that will continue to mean encouraging the to dream about what the Kingdom can look like on their campus.
These things continue to guide us. Some of our language, and structure has changed over the years. We’ve gained staff, and had some move on to other things. But what we care about has remained constant. For most everyone the college experience is a Sojourn, a journey away from home to an unknown land. I consider it a privilege to be a part of this journey for people, and God willing, help them discover with what their faith can look like in practice.
Director of Community and Hospitality
Sojourn staff since 2005