Rose Madrid-Swetman

— Random Thoughts, Stories of Life, and Questions about the Journey —


December 13, 2007

Festival of Lights

Category: All Posts,Stories of Life – Rose – 3:12 pm

Last night Turning Point, (a non-profit organization founded by VCC) Vineyard Community Church partnered with the Center for Human Services and the families that live at Ballinger Homes partnered together for the residents annual “Festival of Lights” party. Ballinger Homes is a low-income apartment community owned and operated by the King County Housing Authority. The Center for Human Services runs the “Family Support Center” in conjunction with many community partners.
Ballinger Homes is home to 110 families, the majority of whom are immigrants from all over the world. Turning Point and Vineyard provided gifts (gender and age appropriate) and food and volunteers for the event. We have served this community for four years. We love these families! Before the kids went to the gift station they first filled out a paper with their name, age and

“Wish Upon a Star”, we asked them for a life wish, not for things. Here are some quotes:

  • “to stop world hunger and let people get along with each other more and I wish to have a digital camera” Female age 13
  • “I want to be a doctor. I wish the war would end” Female age 15
  • “I want to become a doctor and hope to get a job in the UN to work in poor countries” Female age 17
  • “I wish to go back to camp (YMCA summer camp) and to bring all my friends with me” Female age 14
  • “I wish to be a teacher. I wish for my parents to have a nice life in the future for all the nice things they have done for me” Male age 13
  • “I want to be Cinderella” Female age 5
  • “my wish is for my sister to come to America to be with our family” Female age 14
  • “I wish for the homeless and the sick to have a place to live and a healthy life” Male age 15.5
  • “I wish for better grades at school and be better at basketball” Male age 16
  • “to be a football star” Male age 13
  • “to be able to help people in need through medicine. I always wanted to help others because others have helped me in the past” Male age 18
  • “I want to be an artist” Male age 12
  • “In my life I want to be a kids’ doctor because I like kids” Male age 17

As you can see, I don’t have the formatting for WordPress down and I have spent way too long trying to format…I also tried to upload some pictures can’t figure it out.

The night was great. The generosity of time, presence, gifts and more is what VCC and TP do best!

I think I have landed on the title for my dissertation…The Practicing Church…this will reflect the journey we have been on. A few of the areas I will concentrate on:

What are the practices of a church organized around the mission of God in areas of:
1. Spiritual formation
2. Mission
3. Leadership

5 Comments »

  1. I believe you’ve hit on some very key points in the practices of a church. I’d love to see you speak to the idea of people knowing their own “mission” on earth as God has “a hope and future” for each human. Coming to understand what the passion of a person’s heart is will help them bring to the mission of the church their personal passion and giftings to contribute to the mix of the “whole body of Christ”. If people don’t even have a clue of their own personal mission (that place from which they have focus, balance, productivity and fulfillment), they likely will not contribute the most fruitfully to the corporate mission of the church (locally and globally). It is more than a knowledge of the Bible or even entering into ongoing spiritual formation. Mission is founded in the God-implanted passion that is dropped into us in our mother’s womb. If people had a grasp on mission (which is NOT always about what we do – but who God has called us to BE), it would seem coming together, hearing God’s direction and then stepping out in obedience would be much more deliberate and clear. Keep writing, Rose. It’s good to my heart to read your words. Thanks . . .

    Comment by Zema — December 13, 2007 @ 10:01 pm

  2. That is fantastic! It is such a priviledge to be able to meet people from all over the world. Some of them have amazing stories…
    A lady in our church is a refugee from the Congo – her husband was shot in front of her 5 years ago and she had to flee leaving her 2 year old daughter with her sister.
    This week she finally got permission to bring the child to the UK and the church was able to pay for her flight. The little girl’s name means “God’s marvellous plan” – I struggle with that a bit, her life doesn’t seem to have had a great start, but I hope this will be the beginning of better things for her and her Mom. I love the fact that so many of the kids you met want to help others, when they have obviously been through so much themselves.
    I will look forward to reading your dissertation.
    Happy Christmas to you, Rich and Alex, and much love….

    Comment by Cathy — December 14, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

  3. Cathy,
    Happy Christmas to you, Nick and the children! It is so great to meet the families from literally all over the world…the world is definitely getting smaller and smaller in that sense. Hearing the stories like the lady from Congo and her daughter and the stories of many of the families at Festival of Lights is both tragic and hopeful…so much of my life is holding two things at once. Talk to you soon.

    Comment by rose — December 14, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

  4. Rose,

    The title of your dissertation sounds fabulous. I hope you post a little bit of what you are working on for those of us who live way down here in Florida.

    I am especially interested on your thought on spiritual formation.

    Comment by Amber(Homeschool Diva) — December 17, 2007 @ 11:51 am

  5. Hi Amber!
    I want to post. Once i get my thoughts a bit clearer I will put some of them up…Merry Christmas to you, Mike and the children.

    Comment by Rose — December 18, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

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