Tuesday, October 1, 2013



A friend recently shared this blog post with Blake and me. It resonated deeply with us and challenged us. Above all else, we want to be respectful of the women that we work with, honoring their culture, their community, and their families. It is easy for us to think that we have the answers and that our way is best. We must remember that we are the visitors here. We must continue to examine how our wealth and the color of our skin shapes our perspective. 
The excerpt below describes our past 2.5 years and our hope for the future. This is why we are moving to the neighborhood where Krochet Kids is located. We finally have our feet under us a bit and have mostly recovered from the stress and trauma of moving to another country. We are ready to get our hands dirty and to erase the line between "service provider" and "service recipient." We would appreciate prayer to find land soon to start our moving process.
Full blog post can be found at natejlee.com.
"John Perkins, President of the Christian Community Development Association, says that it takes five to eight years to make any kind of sustainable impact in a community. The trouble with internet-age Millennials is that we desire instant gratification and fast results. But real city renewal is slow, painful, mundane, unglamorous, un-newsletter-worthy, and untrendy. It requires the difficult task of showing up in broken neighborhoods. And then showing up again. And then showing up when you hate it. And then showing up when people hate you. And then listening. And then listening some more. And not telling anyone what they need or what the Gospel should look like to them. Real city renewal means you get betrayed, mugged, and dismissed. It means you are immediately distrusted because of the color of your skin and then doing the hard work of understanding where that distrust comes from and then slowly earning it back. It means the people you serve end up hurting you and you end up hurting them. It means you work through conflict, you have hard discussions about privilege, wealth, and race, and you confront yourself daily. Real city renewal is slow trust, mutuality, and reciprocity. It destroys the illusion of “us” and “them”, “missionary” and “lost”, “service provider” and “service recipient.” And to truly know and therefore love a city, we must get our hands dirty in the mud of it. We must commit ourselves to it long term. We must know its history, its ins and outs. We are not ghetto tourists. We cannot take our cameras into the communities we “serve” because the hood is not a vacation or a documentary; to the folks who have lived there for 30 years it certainly isn’t. And a picture of me and a group of black kids doesn’t automatically make me legit; it makes me a poverty pornographer. Shane Claiborne did a good job making justice-focused Christianity cool; it’s time to move beyond cool to sustainability, continuity, and mutuality. A one day service project is not enough. A one week urban missions trip is not enough. A one year urban missions program is not enough. San Francisco {Lima} deserves better than that."

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