During the week here at the Jordan Café, we had a visit from an Aboriginal couple who are a long-time and precious part of our Jordan Café family here. We hadn’t seen this couple for a while as they had been in lockdown and staying safe. It was so lovely to see them again! And all the community and team were so happy to see them. I sat down with the couple and we just caught up on what had been happening over the last couple of months. In the midst of the busyness of the Café it was great to spend time with them, catch up, hear how their family is going and so on. They were asking me all about the Café, how Kimmie (my wife) was going and our kids (the twins) were doing. And of course, we talked about the Bunnies facing the Chooks this week (update: grr the Bunnies lost)! We, at the Café, had really missed them. This catch-up is a snapshot of the Jordan Café, and what occurs everyday in the Café, everyone hanging out, catching up, looking out for each other – It pushes the Jordan Cafe to be more than just a community.
During National Reconciliation Week 2020, seeing this couple again made me reflect on all our precious Aboriginal Brothers, Sisters, Uncle and Aunties who are part of the Jordan Café family. Thirty-or-so dear Aboriginal Brothers and Sisters who see the Jordan Café as their place, community and Church. Some come-and-go, some are here all the time, four days a week, some have been here for years, even decades. Some we have formed close friendships with, some we have walked with in very dark times and some we have walked with in great times.
The Jordan Café is a place where we quietly, in the nitty-gritty, walk-with and stand-with our Aboriginal Brothers and Sisters. We listen to stories, we listen to history, we listen to pain, we listen to sorrow. We listen to hope. We hope. But we also act, we support, we advocate, we join together. The trust, respect, friendships and love that has formed over the years has beautifully overflowed into the life of the Jordan Café. We, together, will stand against the injustice, racism, pain that our Aboriginal Brothers and Sisters continue to encounter and live. Death-in-custody, forced removal of children, trauma of the Stolen Generation, institutional and historical abuse, gaps in medical care and outcomes. Our heart breaks. We go to appointments, we sit in court, we are on the phone, we join with others and we will continue to do so.
I don’t have any ground-breaking or profound thoughts on reconciliation, all I know is my Aboriginal Brothers and Sisters are some of our most precious friends. And, I speak on behalf of the Jordan Café who think the same. I know reconciliation must come from God. God is the source of heart-changing, transformative and healing reconciliation. God’s reconciliation to us, only at the Cross of Jesus, where God’s blood was shed for all of us so we can be reconciled to Him and to each other. 2 Corinthians 5:18 puts it as: ‘All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.’ We get a glimpse of God’s reconciliation and Kingdom here at the Jordan Café, the ministry of reconciliation. It is a start but we want to see so much more.
Thanks, love, God Bless,
Sam and the Jordan Cafe