First, a little background on Genesis. 6 years ago, Pastor Trevor Downham (our pastor here) found the body of an AIDS victim on the steps of our church. His heart was broken and he asked the church, "What would happen if our church doors closed tomorrow? Would this community even know that we were ever here?". That spurred a whole movement within the church to start taking "church" outside the walls of our building and INTO the community. They began by responding to physical needs, the greatest immediate need being AIDS victims who were dying rejected, alone, and without hope. The church started an AIDS and TB hospice. The staff at the hospice introduce each patient to the Lord and many come to know Him. It's an incredible outpouring of Christ's love to the community, especially to the most neglected of people. The church began to look beyond this immediate need and started thinking about how to invest in the community through preventative care.
Genesis now has several community centers within half an hour of each other around the area. The centers exist in response to needs in the community with the primary purpose of using these platforms to share the Gospel. The centers have things like a gym, music academy, training center (teaching women to make crafts to sell), library, VBS, youth groups and Bible studies for urban kids, a hospice, computer training, leadership training, a school for autistic kids, a rugby academy, etc. Each ministry we have seen so far has been effective at maintaining its focus on Christ. The people who come are introduced to Christ and are mentored, discipled, and invested in on both a physical and spiritual level. All of these buildings have no one to maintain them, so that is Sam's job. He's the Genesis Maintenance Guy. He loves his job because he gets to work at each center and SEE how God is at work through our local church. Some of his jobs are really simple, like fixing broken windows, and others are more complicated, like reworking the entire water system for one of the centers.
|Murchison Center windows|
Sam doesn't have a "typical" day. For example, the other day, he met in the morning with our pastor to figure out the direction of a new ministry that is being started at Genesis. Then the hospice called him because they were out of water. He worked on their water system, got it running again, and met with a few of their staff to try teach them how to conserve water more diligently. After this, he got a call from one of our more rural centers where there had recently been riots. A few of their windows were broken, so he drove out there, got the materials, and repaired them.
|Hospice and Youth Center water system|
Some days, he fixes cars that are used by our food programs to deliver food to poverty-stricken families. Other days, he meets with our pastor and others on the Genesis team as they work on the direction of various ministries. Sometimes, he works on the toilets at the hospice centers. One day, he removed and rebuilt a wall in one of our buildings to create a more effective working space. It can sound a little chaotic, but basically, his job is to keep these buildings functional and efficient. It has relieved the staff of each of the centers who until now have had to outsource the work and has eaten up their funding that we would rather see used for further ministry.