We are in the process of forming a Mexican non-profit to give our community center ministry here more legal recognition. It will also serve as a more appropriate vehicle for present and future property purchases. Often as Christian ministries we ignore the civil and social aspects of what we do, and do not take advantage of valid governmental and non-governmental relationships. Frankly, most local, state and federal governments should want to cooperate and, when appropriate, facilitate the community impact of the local church.
The government is sometimes
viewed as more of a hindrance than a help, and certainly our loyalties as
Christians are towards Jesus and his calling and commands. We can never
compromise our message, or sell-out on our convictions. Nevertheless,
government is an institution established by God, our God, and to think that we cannot find common ground is either
ignorant or arrogant. Against the fruit
of the Spirit there is no law. What government would ever oppose the offering
of music lessons, homework clubs or free wheelchairs? What government would not
want to promote activities to get their youth off the streets and more active
in sports, dance or art? What government
does not want to see their citizenry become more productive, more honest, less
Without legal standing it
is harder to present a credible case before municipal authorities. But having
the formal standing of a non-profit, with a list of all members of the organization,
and document detailing mission, vision and history and a colorful photo-log
visually presenting eight years of active local outreach, well, suddenly
politicians pay attention. Or they should anyway.
One day the whole world
will be ours, and it a sense it already is. In the meantime, however, we’ll be
patient, enduring hardships, realizing that the playing field is tilted against
us for now. Injustice reins, for now. But even in the midst of this negative environment,
people recognize and respond to goodness, to selflessness, to help without strings
attached. Why? Because it is so scarce, so hard to find. Our good works condemn
the world, our love makes us incomprehensible, intolerable, and tremendously appealing
all at the same time.
So we’ll be moving full
speed ahead with this. Oh yes we will.
Below, some of the graphic
helps of ministries begun under the auspices of the community center. If you’ve
been here you may have been a part of some of them.
(A big thanks to Samuel for this visual arts ministry!)