Posted by: Matt Norton | September 25, 2008

The Bond of Christ!

This weekend three of the summer Hope team came back to Jeff Street to visit.  When Lindsey told me they were coming early last week I was excited.  The excitement was not of the normal sort.  I had never met any of them before but I had heard numerous stories from everyone at Jeff St.: staff, day shelter guests, and residents.  (All of which were good)  To me, these people were only names with vague stories giving hints into their personality, but my heart leapt when I thought about spending time with them.  I believe that this strange excitement came upon me because the Holy Spirit within me was rejoicing.  He knew that I would soon be meeting other followers of Christ.  The Holy Spirit knew that these people I had never met share the same love and fervor for Jesus Christ and have the same Holy Spirit residing within them.  Now having spent the weekend with them I understand the Holy Spirit’s excitement.
Cameron and three friends, Andre, Cliff, and Raymond showed up Friday night.  We immediately clicked as a group.  There wasn’t the usual awkwardness that is characteristic when meeting new people.  These guys share the same bond of a life centered on Christ as Kerry and I do. It was a wonderful start to a great weekend.
On Saturday all the guys joined us in the day shelter.  Saturdays are usually pretty slow down there and this weekend was no different.  With fewer guests to attend to we were able to give more love and attention to those that were there and we were able to sit and get to know each other better.  I learned crazy things such as, Raymond has studied a few other languages but he is best in Arabic because he was immersed in the language for three months, Cliff’s only time in Africa was spent visiting a friend in South Africa, and crazy things like that.  I also was first introduced to Brittany and Chelsey down there.  I was able to talk to them and they were telling me about all the ways that God worked in them and transformed them this summer. (and how He’s continuing to do so)  It was a wonderful opportunity to hear about the lives of other believers and how God is working in their lives and those around them.
The great fellowship did not end there but continued even after all the guys but Cameron left.  Kerry, Cameron, and I all hung out for a while then Kerry went to take a nap.  Cameron and I started talking and it quickly got onto the subject of God and how he is working in the world and in particular in America.  I can’t sufficiently describe the conversation but it was one that I knew the Holy Spirit was there leading and directing it for our edification.  Without our bond in Christ the conversation would not have been possible.  Experiences such as those fill me with such excitement and joy because I know that I have a brother in Christ and that we have bonded on a very deep level.  This continued later when we both shared our life testimonies, letting each other know where we have stumbled, struggled and fallen and then where God has picked us up again.  To God be the glory!  He is of infinite worth!
The weekend ended with a sugar coma and the sort of Christian hospitality we are all called to show.  (see Romans 12:9-16 and Hebrews 13:2)  After a great church service Brittany invited Chelsey, Cameron, Lindsey, a friend, and me to her house for a pancake lunch.  When we all got to her house her mom was out to invite us in with a hug.  We went in and her sister and dad were there to greet us with smiles.  In everything, love was shown, from opening their house to us to the conversation and the gentleness shown in it when difficult subjects were bridged.  I could feel Christ working through everyone present and especially our hosts.  It was truly a blessing to be able to experience their excellent example.
God, as usual, went above and beyond anything I could have expected for the weekend.  He has a wonderful ability of making Himself known to the world and to me. This weekend He did it through my new friends.  It is just one more of the numerous times that God affirmed His presence, love and work in my life.  Praise to God!

God Bless You All!

With Christ’s Love,


  1. Matt thats awesome. I wish I could have been there to meet you too. I have heard good things about you from Lindsey. Know that I am praying for you guys.

    And I totally agree..Brittany’s House/Faily is amazing and her cooking is GREAT!

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