Message from Rev. Edgar Bazan, Amigos Days Director
My work with Amigos Days has given me the opportunity to meet people outside the church: leaders in our communities and the city of Dallas. In these encounters and experiences, I have learned that there are emerging new leaders in our communities who want better for our cities because they know that we can do better. Better “what?” one may ask. Better neighborhoods, better standards of living, better education programs, and the eradication of poverty and homelessness.
Considering the magnitude of the challenges in each of these areas mentioned above, one may think that we are delusional, or at best day-dreaming if we think we can make a dent on these needs. However, we are actually making more than a dent. Here is how we are impacting others in need right now: 450 homes repaired as of today. This is a significant contribution to our communities. We feel blessed to be a part of the improvement of the lives of so many by helping repair their homes. This is a sacred work, for a home is sacred.
As someone who is continually looking ahead to what it could be, I believe that no matter how ludicrous these visions and dreams may seem, that although it is not easy, it is possible to achieve such visions of a better future for all. We can continue to make things better for all of us, for the people we know and for the stranger we meet when we step outside of our comforts.
We are in process of dreaming even in larger scales: “What is next?” we are asking ourselves as we discern how and where else the church can better lead. I personally ask this question in knowing that there are good people outside the church that also want to contribute to the well-being of others. Not necessarily because of faith, but because of our shared humanity. And it is in these learnings that I am discerning that every generation has this idea or feeling of being better, more capable, and sometimes even more progressive than the previous. I am inclined to believe that we as human beings are forward thinking by nature, which is what ultimately allows and empowers us to make dreams come true. I am seeing that today’s generation, both inside and outside the church, are passionate about bringing humanity together for the well-being of each other. This awareness is causing us to consider how to build new bridges with new people to do more together.
Can the church lead?
Can we find ourselves linking arms with others to provide for each other, our children and leave a better today for tomorrow?
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to love and serve our neighbor and each other. So the answer is not whether we can, but if we will.
In the spirit of Dr. King, Jr., I have a dream, too. This is a dream of not leaving anyone behind. A dream of images, pictures, flashes into the future of a church where we get closer to each other and provide for each other’s needs and success. This a dream of beautiful opportunities waiting to be unearthed as we come together through new partnerships. Yes, we can make things possible, and it feels like a wonderful dream that is unfolding before us. In fact, I believe we are truly living in a dream, one that is continuously fueled and extended by the best class of people we meet, people that are fighters and dreamers, a new generation of leaders, just like us. You have and will continue to have the opportunity to make things better for those with whom you shared this city.
We must ask ourselves: will we be part of the solutions that are happening all around us?
We have a unique opportunity just as every generation before us had, to lead with those are leading. These people may be the very same people sitting in our pews week after week, but have yet to make the connection of faith with the possibility of applying that same faith to the kind of work that makes tangible transformation beyond the walls of the church, like Amigos Days.
One of the main foes to face and overcome is one of complacent faith, one that is at rest, seated and quiet, confined to the walls of a church building. If you find yourself or others in such a state, take courage and pull yourself out of that cave. It is time stop sitting on our faith and keep it quiet. It is time to tell the good story of our faith through our witness, service and work for and with each other as we joined with others to reinforce the foundations that lead to healthy and strong communities. The tasks are many, seemingly insurmountable; but it is there, where our future lays, where the opportunities for growth, and new identity are promising, where the church leads everywhere with compassion and dignity for all. We can’t wait for tomorrow, we can’t afford any longer to ignore it, we must accept our destiny for it is today when is to be found.
I know that I am preaching, and I intentionally do so. Allow me one more time to preach: let’s march to the beat of our hearts, as powerful as one thousand tongues in tune; let’s hear the music of within, the one that makes us good and kind; let’s continue our dream-working for the successful development and growth of our beautiful churches, neighborhoods, and cities.
Is this your calling, too?
Join Amigos Days because we are leading forward, and we have this dream of helping make dwelling places better for our neighbors in our city. Let’s continue this work. Let’s invite and include others to join so our dreams may continue to be those of our communities. And let’s hear and see our neighbors’ dreams too, so we can commit to each other, trust each other, and work for each other to find solutions together for our challenges.
This is our greater good, our way to be collectively impactful in every possible and positive way we can. For this church and city, is no longer just our dad’s and mom’s, but ours to steward.