by Bart Campolo,
Servant Publications, 2001
Bart Campolo is the president of Mission Year, a U.S.-based Christian service program that recruits people to serve in outreach teams that live and work in inner-city neighbourhoods. Though this book was written several years ago, the proof of the program's success is that it continues to attract recruits who choose to sacrifice comfort in order to dwell and perform community service in inner-cities across America. While the program originally sought the participation of young adults 18-29, it has expanded to include those over this age, as well as married couples.
In thirty relatively short chapters (the book is under 150 pages), Campolo shares stories from the trenches. Though there is hopelessness, danger, and struggle in inner-city living and outreach, there is also hope and freedom in Christ, and the reader catches glimpses of God's love at work here as His kingdom expands bit by bit. We see followers of Jesus who live in groups of five or six building relationships with their neighbours, sharing Christ's love for them in real and practical ways, and learning how to live together in authentic community. The stories are exciting and inspiring - sometimes saddening and maddening - and invite involvement whether it be through going, giving, or praying.
I would love to see Campolo write a new book with the stories that have taken place in the years since this was published.
For more on Mission Year, please visit the website.