Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mind The Gap

Last week, we had a volunteer who was visiting from England.  Matt Moore helped us in the garden,  worked with us on a community service project, took some great photos for us, and generally pitched in wherever needed. Thanks Matt!   His visit and our conversations reminded me of my visits to that part of the world. 
Getting around London is pretty easy if you use the underground subway aka “The Tube”.  You will see and hear the  “Mind The Gap” all over the place. I appreciate the Brits warning me not to fall to my death through the space between the subway platform and the train itself.  If you’re brave enough, you can also rent a car and drive on the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD, while navigating the never ending roundabouts. 
Trust me, England’s roundabouts and North Pole’s roundabouts are nothing alike. In England, there’s and inner circle, and (thankfully) an inner-inner circle to drive around in while you’re trying to figure out which way to go. Unlike an intersection, where you better darn-well already know which way you’re going.

I often have described Joel’s Place as an intersection between the church and the “not church”.  I mean it in a positive way, but after thinking it through I realize how much better it would be as a roundabout. Instead of the different parties stopping, waiting , then going their own way, we would all be in the same circle. At least for a while, we would all be headed the same direction, and perhaps some would make it to that inner-inner circle and stay awhile.

We are all about staying awhile.

 At Joel’s Place, we see nearly a thousand kids each year, and we will see some of those kids for 10 years or more.  While many will safely navigate through to adulthood, we know that some of our kids will fall through the cracks. We don’t want that.  This is why we offer consistent mentoring, healthy foods and a positive outlet for all that adolescent energy.  It doesn’t guarantee success, but it can help narrow the gap between success and failure.

If you’d like to learn more about Joel’s Place, roundabouts, or joining the inner-inner circle (but, not in a creepy, cult-like way) give me a call or stop by for a tour.   
We hope you’ll like what you see and stay awhile.

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July