What happens when roughly a dozen young Christian men and women move into a low-income housing complex (Barberry Village here in the Portland area) with the primary goal of creating a sense of community in a chaotic neighborhood overrun with drugs, prostitution and gangs?
People are suspicious. A few people shut the door in their faces. One guy answered with a Taser gun. Safety is a concern. And some of these young Christians burn out. But there has also been so much good done that other low-income housing complex owners have asked them to replicate their efforts.
You can read the full story here.
And they appear to have an appropriate attitude when attempting such work:
So while they were open about their Christianity, they didn’t plunge into conversations about their faith. Nor did they move in acting as if they could solve the social ills at Barberry Village
“We were very conscious of that,” said Knepprath, who has since moved out but remains active in the ministry. “Our perspective from the start was that we’re not here with all the solutions or even thinking we know all the problems.”
The article calls these Christians part of the “new monasticism” movement. They certainly express much of what the missional paradigm is about.