In spite of living in one of Sydney’s most challenging neighbourhoods, residents of Bidwill (in the Mt Druitt area of Western Sydney) are wanting to see their suburb go from survive to thrive. We are delighted to be working with them in supporting that goal, and have received SMRF funding to enable us to build a network of partnerships that will help empower these committed ‘Bidwillians’!
Chartering unknown waters can be daunting with such a venture, especially when it requires us to redefine what ‘church’ will look like in forging cross-sector partnerships and relating well with each group. John Dacey, Community Minister at MDCM puts it well when he says that the residents of Bidwill are his congregation, a church without walls. It’s a marvellous thing to behold, watching the community confide in him, baring it all to their spiritual leader. These people will never relate to the usual understanding of church. They stay well away from that!
Monday morning and I receive a phone call from an excited young up-and-coming film-maker. He’s in Tasmania on a wilderness exposure trip for 10 days with 4 teenage boys from Bidwill. I feel like jumping up and down…..One of the boys spoke to his mum shortly after arriving, telling her how beautiful Tasmania is.
Russ2What’s happening here? A young man has been given the unique opportunity to have a transformational experience far away from the challenges presented in his daily context. The purpose of the trip is to unlock an understanding of personal potential and possibility, to broaden horizons.
The capacity & strength of this boy’s mother has astounded me more than once. This woman knows her assets as well as her limits, and works within them, with proven results. I’d like to be more like that. She’s an Aussie battler with a clear vision to make things better for her 4 children.
How does all of this happen? you may ask. With a heck of a lot of passion from a lot of people. Harnessing hope and building on the community’s capacity to move forward, toward healing. You see, we are involved in a living experiment and we learn more every day. We’re currently working on setting up a strong network to sustain the ministry. Join us in the journey, & see what God can do!
Some of the resident driven projects that MDCM is currently working on is an Indigenous Adult Literacy class, the Broadening Horizons project for the young men of Bidwill, mentoring and support for vulnerable primary school kids (some of whom aren’t attending school), and the resident run Bidwill Christmas Carols.
For more information, to donate funds, to pray for us, or if you’d like to get involved, please contact Melinda West, Community Network Developer, 0408277328, firstname.lastname@example.org