Meet the Community Fellows: Gabi
Perspectives are a strange thing. They affect every aspect of what we do, how we see, how we think, how we feel, who we are. As you read this post, you’re reading from a very particular and special perspective. I’d like to share some of the things Jesus has used to create my perspective over the last twenty years.
But first, a few quick facts: my name is Gabi Benalcazar and I have the opportunity to be a Community Fellow this year. I was part of the Fellows Program last year, but only for half the year beginning in January. I am incredibly thankful for the chance to continue living in Bellflower.
Alright, back to perspectives. One of the biggest ways Jesus has shaped my perspective is, no surprise, my home-life. “Home” is in Ohio; Westerville, OH to be exact. “Home” is my awesome, supportive parents, my big bro and four grandparents whom I was lucky enough to grow up living close to. “Home” is an old horse farm with way too much space to run around in and to spend time alone with Jesus. “Home” is where Jesus first drew me to himself, it is where I learned to love and live life with people. “Home” is a huge factor in Jesus shaping my perspective.
The next biggest factor is a place located at the corner of Clark and Flower...well, not the place, but the people there who make up part of Jesus’ body: Bellflower Brethren Church (BBC). Jesus has used BBC to shape the way I see and connect with community.
I’ll end with this story... The other night, I was running around with some kids that live in the apartments behind our church. We raced up the stairs of the courtyard at church and over to a balcony. The kids noticed that it was facing the direction of their home, so we ran to the railing to see if we could see their door. We could. Excitement, pointing and happy chatter broke out. Then they just stood there for a bit (the longest they stood still all night, no joke!) looking at their home from the second floor of this building. They had a whole new vantage point, a whole different perspective of their home, one that they’d never seen before. And that’s my hope. I hope that Jesus will continue to bring me through and to places, people, whatever it may be, to give me and others a new perspective. A “new” perspective for me, that is, but one as old as time to Him. I trust that, completely by his grace, during this next year and beyond, he will continue helping me to see and love like he does. Helping me to live with His perspective. I hope and trust that the same will happen with you.