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Underneath the oldest bridge in Portland every week, C. J. Speelman and about 15 men meet up to size up each other's bikes. In the U.S. city with the highest share of cycling commuters, the sight isn't surprising. What is notable is that most of the men are homeless, and their gathering looks something like real community.

As you watch the film about Speelman's ministry, ask: How does the descriptor 'friends who live outside' change the way you think about homeless men and women? How has the phrase "homeless people" been used to dignify others—or to keep them at arms' length? And how are Christians in your own city reaching across traditional barriers to form real community like the kind Speelman has?

How to Abandon 'Homeless People'

With his bike-friendly nonprofit, C. J. Speelman offers a better way to address our friends who live outside.
Rethinking the $3,000 Missions Trip

Rethinking the $3,000 Missions Trip

When I learned that kids in my city couldn't swim, I started to rethink how much I'd invested in overseas missions.
Furniture Fit for the Kingdom

Furniture Fit for the Kingdom

For Harrison Higgins, building beautiful furniture is not simply a steady job but a sacrament unto God.
Faith in a Fallen Empire

Faith in a Fallen Empire

Detroit's list of maladies is long. But some Christians' commitment to its renewal is longer.
'Daddy, Why Do People Steal from Us?'

'Daddy, Why Do People Steal from Us?'

How I answered the question would prove crucial to addressing racial divides in our D.C. neighborhood.

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Displaying 1–2 of 2 comments

E Harris

December 19, 2011  2:54pm

He did say that people tend to try to create a sense of 'home' wherever they are. What matters, I guess, is: where do you live, are you content, and what do you want to achieve? People are people. Not all people are as successful as they would like to be - because there are things in their lives that still need to be worked out. Some of them need emotional healing, or healings from addictions... I cannot imagine a person living in a situation that he isn't content with (for very long) unless he's having a hard time developing a skilled trade. It may sound better to call them "friends who live outside" rather than "homeless." To focus on what they do have to offer, rather than what they don't possess. But how long would it be until "friends-who-live-outside" would take on the same meaning and treatment as "special". What matters is the social and financial 'bottom line'. Are they developing a trade & self-respect.

Sam

December 19, 2011  1:52pm

I like when after breaking up the fight, he mentions how hard it is for these guys to not have any privacy to air their frustrations. That's grace.

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