*knock* *knock* *knock* “Hello?” “Hi, my name is Steve* and this is Al* and we’re from Berkeley Life Centre. We’re handing out free bread, would you like some?” And so started the Adopt-a-Block adventures of Steve and Al. The boys have been visiting a group of houses in Berkeley every week for the better half of a year now, and have had a great time making new friends, sharing bread, sipping tea, patting dogs, eating cake and talking about life.
Every Monday afternoon Steve and Al meet at The Second Chance Op Shop and pack a bag of bread to take on their walk. Over the months they’ve learnt the tastes of those they visit, and what started as “chuck a bunch of loaves and buns into a bag” is now a finely tuned dough selection process.
Along the road Steve and Al walk, chattering between houses, alternating bread- carrying duties. First up there’s Roy#, who is always pottering around his garage working on one project or another. “He’s always up to something, we’ve helped him tune a few televisions,” Steve tells us, “and he’s got a magnificent collection of birds!” After chatting with Roy for a while, Steve consults his watch and apologizes that the boys must be moving on, there’s more houses to visit!
“There’s some people who just take some bread and bid us a good day,” Al says as we walk along to the road to the next house, “Others enjoy having a chat!” “And offer us a cuppa if we’re lucky!” quips Steve. The boys work their way along the street, handing out bread and having a catch up with their friends. At Linda’s# house, they are invited inside for a drink, biscuit, and a chat. At Narelle’s# they enjoy some homemade apple crumble. Al comments gratefully on its deliciousness.
“We began doing Adopt-a-Block because it’s really how Berkeley Life Centre started back in the day – meeting members of the community, getting to know them, and inviting them to check Jesus out,” Al says as they walk between houses. “Steve’s done it before so he’s led from the front. He’s my mentor!” “It’s been really encouraging for us,” tells Steve, “We’ve been able to pray with a few guys, share our testimonies, and we’ve even been prayed for by one lady!”
And then there’s Paul#, whom Steve always greets with a loaf in hand “And here’s your daily bread!” It gets a laugh, from both of them. Paul’s wife is in a nursing home, and he faithfully visits her everyday. In the past 2 years, he’s only missed 7 days, and they were when he was in hospital! He’s an incredible example of love, and the boys tell him so. Paul says he wants to visit the church one day. Steve says that’s a good idea.
Leaving their last visit, Al concedes that some days are harder than others to strike up meaningful conversations. “A lot of them have reservations about church and Jesus, others are just simply not interested. So we’re just getting to know them, and praying opportunities come up further down the line. It requires some patience!”
“We’ve started inviting everyone along to the community carols on December 14th. It’ll be a great opportunity to build on our relationships,” Steve adds. If you’re interested in getting involved in Adopt-a-Block, please contact Pastor Wayne.
*Names have been changed.