We all dream of a place to call a home; a place where we can flourish in peace without worries or fear, a place where the community stands as one in pursuit of righteousness. I sometimes wonder if such a place exists.

All throughout the book of Genesis, we see that God created the Garden of Eden and entrusted man to care for it so that he himself can grow and flourish in the presence of God. Today, this is hard to imagine, considering all we see and experience daily in our communities. 

In all of the turmoil and heartache within our communities, there is a movement out there which is dedicated to bring the kingdom of God in the toughest and drug infested neighbourhoods. It is a movement where individuals move into these neighborhoods with the intention to connect with the churches and community in order to demonstrate the Gospel in a more intimate and practical way.

To me, this sounds like a much needed movement in all communities across Cape Town. A movement dedicated to not only to see the change but also to experience it first hand. This we our feature is about  the Eden Network, before we delve in you must be asking yourself:

What is Eden?

Eden is a missional stream within The Message Trust which works to see people experiencing the love of God in a practical and meaningful way. The Eden members move into rough and gang infested neighborhoods with the intention of creating connection with the church and community.
— Grant Porthen

Grant Porthen, who himself has a past in the murky streets of Athlone, is a man who is passionate about young people and wants to effectively share the gospel to young people in a way they will understand and relate to. His responsibility within Eden is to plant Eden teams in drug and gang infested neighborhoods and recruits people to work within these communities.

Currently, there are Eden teams operating in Nyanga East, Pelican Park and Salt River, which are all connected to a local church of their respective area. Additionally, each team has community development projects running in order to bring positive impact and change.  

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One project that is paramount in Salt River is the Mustard Seed House, a project developed by the Salt River Eden team who saw the need to provide a safe haven for ladies living under the bridge. This house will accommodate homeless women where they will be given a platform to develop themselves and pursue their dreams in a safe environment.

Grant is a vision and purpose driven man and one day he dreams of finding Eden teams in every neighborhood in Cape Town where people from all walks of life can come and find a place to flourish and grow. This year, they will be launching a fourth Eden team in Parow, in partnership with Lighthouse Church.

It’s been a little over two years since the inception of the first Eden team and we are excited to hear about more of the ripple effects coming through the Eden Network teams.   

For more on the Eden Network visit www.joineden.org.za

 

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