As you can imagine today was quite hectic. We started off visiting families in the Chester Le area. I gathered a sense of sadness like no other killing in the area. Since last summer there have been 7 shootings or murders but there was a different tone to this one. There wasn't fear, like the shooting in November produced. There was just sadness. Even the most hardened gang-banger would never kill a kid. Everyone seemed to be dealing with it well, unfortunately because not many people knew the family.
At one point I stepped out of the van to chat with Clayon and a media frenzy ensued. Global National, CityTV, CBC and a few local papers surrounded us for comments. Later on that night I heard that Clayon and I were on Global for the 6 oclock news.
One of the saddest things about the incident is that it took place right across the street from the new "Chester Le Community Center". Even though the center was so close, it couldn't reach the family. The message I took from this was simple - "Love your neighbour". If we all actually made an effort to get to know the people in our community, get involved in their lives to the point that they trust us and open up when they need help, maybe things like this might not happen. Maybe I'm naive. Obviously I think the community center is doing a great job. They are helping many people. But just like many churches that have great programs, unless there is contact with the people outside of the program you will remain out of touch and ineffective in "reaching out".
I was saddened that I had never come in contact with this family over the year and a half they lived at this house. The murders made me realize how much more reaching out I have to do. Hopefully everyone in this community, and others like it, will make that effort to "love your neighbour".
Also, in the hustle and bustle I forgot that yesterday marks one year since I added a counter to the blog. Since last February there have been over 44,000 hits to the site. That does not include the number who logged on to check out our Olympic trip. We praise God that this site has been blessed, and thank all of you for the prayers and donations that have come in as a result.
Finally, last night was another "session" with our boys. Every Friday night the "Level 2 & Level 3" guys come over to our place after youth for some serious discussion. Please continue to pray for these guys, who come from Chester Le, as they are growing so much. Tomorrow is CRUX at Markham so please pray that I would have boldness as I preach to the youth and that lives would be changed.