A few weeks ago, on a beautiful Saturday morning, I biked the espresso trike into a Red Deer neighbourhood and delighted in what happened next. You see, Evelyn took me up on my offer of having a neighbourhood initiative which simply rallied around the Neighbourhood Life Espresso Trike, which she discovered during one of our training sessions. She later admitted that she was not sure what was going to happen…..at any level! The deal was made, as she was assured she did not have to prepare anything, just simply invite her neighbours for an espresso, latte or some other coffee related drink. After all this was not a block party. And so she waited on the curb, at the agreed upon time, which is when I rolled up in front of her home. After a few exchanges of greetings and brief commentary on the weather, people started to pour out of their front doors and their garages, while others were seen coming down the sidewalk.
To witness such a scene is heart warming, to say the least. Especially when you have lived there for many years and now realized that many neighbours introduced themselves for the first time. Some came late because they had forgotten, but were reminded by the small commotion on the sidewalk. Others came for a latte, walked back home for a minute, and returned a half hour later for another. Although I roast the coffee I serve, there is no transactions or costs necessary, which eventually leads to someone asking, “Who are you and what is this all about?” The answer is first and foremost about quenching the community thirst of neighbours getting together because Jesus had our best interests in mind when he spoke the command. And for the people who don’t like to listen to Jesus, I tell them any realtor will say the same, because a neighbourhood in which neighbours love each other is a great place to live and can even increase the value of your home! Later in the conversation we talk about the farmers who grow the beans that I roast, and how they are working on their community much like we are doing in this neighbourhood. Interestingly, the conversation swung back to Jesus. I say interestingly, because an impromptu Bible Study on the curbside of the neighbourhood in which you live (with your neighbours) is quite different from most experiences.