The name of our community center here in Tacloban is “Tahanan,” which means “home” in Tagalog. Our hope with Tahanan is to create a space for people to gather where they can learn God’s Word, fellowship together, and have opportunities to serve. Over the last year, we have hosted bible studies, dinners, and facilitated times for local youth to serve in the community.
During our time here this week, some of our objectives have been related to making some minor improvements to Tahanan. Today Tim was able to fix the AC unit in the classroom, as well as begin repairs on the roof to help prevent leaks, which have been common. Shaun gathered supplies for a vertical garden and began constructing it. He also was able to complete the compost bin he started at the beginning of the week. Food produced from the garden will be used in the meals that are prepared for events at Tahanan, as well as a way to bless those in need—like prisoners, who only receive vegetables if a visitor brings them. I spent time gathering more pictures to hang on the walls as well as purchasing a few more pieces of needed furniture.
We learn from the book of Genesis that God values an ordered environment. In order for our space to be a place where people feel “at home”--safe, loved, and comfortable, we have to be intentional with what we have and how we use it. We make our decisions based on the Word, not on what feels ‘right.’ Everything from what kind of garden to design to what pictures we hang on the wall, we invite the LORD into those decisions. We also have to be equally aware to not ever forget that our focus is on the development of people, not buildings. We believe that God’s presence will be known in this place because of our love for him and the way we show our love to others.
Written by Kristin Bennecker