X-Site - update May12

Monday, 28 May, 2012

Captain Louise Weller, of Church Army New Zealand, tells how the X-site community continues to develop in the wake of natural disaster.

Five years ago we began an outreach into a suburb in Christchurch with high unemployment, many single families and huge needs. We began by taking our bus into the streets and followed that up three years ago by starting an afterschool programme in a local venue with the expectation that parents would come along and become involved as well.

X-Site - groupThis programme, with a strong Christian emphasis, was geared for families and encouraged the building up of the local community in a caring environment. Sadly we have lost touch with some families because of the earthquakes we suffered here in September 2010 and February 2011. Many people left Christchurch as a result and others went because of housing problems.

It was been extremely challenging with many families struggling. There has also been an increase in marriage breakdowns - partly due to the stress of the quakes' ongoing aftershocks.

The good news is that we are becoming a community of faith and it is exciting; it is just not developing at the speed I thought it might. One of the keys to growth has been our visiting programme and our dependence on God in prayer. We know that there will be challenges and this is good because we see these challenges as opportunities to see God at work among us.

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