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Who Is Our Neighbor?

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I see things from my office here at PPC.

I see things I didn’t expect to see from my window. 

I see our neighbors.  I see us.

I see Valencia High School students strolling through our campus on their way home from sports practice or school.  I see families and couples walk by the office looking for help from Camino Immigration.

I see ordinary people of PPC and Solidarity working together for the Kingdom of God right here in our neighborhood. 

During VBS I saw awesome, adult volunteers shepherding their flock of kids around the campus and cheering them on when they needed help or were upset.  Some of these volunteers have brought tears to my eyes watching them love these children, some of whom they have never met before.

I have watched the Summer interns, Luke, Aleen, Maria & AJ become friends, planning, working, learning and playing together. I have watched these interns learn what it means to be true leaders, getting a glimpse of Kingdom building.  They are learning to do great things in our neighborhood.

I have watched the high school cohorts arrive back on campus so tired, but energized after working with the Solidarity Summer program in our neighborhood.

I have watched the Solidarity Merge Teen group frolic on our grass as our PPC folks finish cooking their Monday BBQ dinner.  They are comfortable here.

I have watched excited children attending VBS and our summer camps gleefully learning about God, science and gardening alongside children they have never met before.

This summer, as well as last, we are collaborating with Solidarity, serving and ministering to the local, neighborhood kids, teens and youth, alongside our own PPC kids. We hired two interns from PPC and two from the Solidarity Community and our teen cohorts also represent both entities. 

I don’t see these people as Solidarity people or PPC people anymore  These people are Kingdom of God  people.  They are our neighbors and  are woven into the community of Placentia and this place that we call church.

I also see, everyday, the painting on the wall by Karin Zaldaña-Moran from my desk. Come in to the office to see it! To me, this painting represents the intersecting lives of the children, youth and adults in our local neighborhood and church.  We are different but we are woven together, as God intended, with no barriers.  I see the people in the white light of the picture melting together and intersecting, overcoming the black space that was once an empty canvas.  Our church is now a part of the canvas of the neighborhood. 

We are now truly neighbors.

God is good.  All the time.


Posted by Barbara Balent with