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Not of this world

We walk in the unconventional footsteps of Jesus, who renounced violence, called strangers family, hung out with people who were poor, sick, and weak, and wandered far from the comfort of home to spread the Good News. How do our lives reflect the nonconformity of Christ? Opening up our homes

Our story isn’t “Mom and Dad fell in love, got married, and had a baby.” Every foster child in our home has been a risk. We risk our hearts every time, and we know that they will break. But we also know that these kids’ hearts will be broken if someone doesn’t help them. Jesus has given us the charge to care for the orphans, and we believe He’s given us the ability to carry the brokenness and pain that these kids go through.

Jeff & Meadow Piepho, who pastor Revolution Church (Salina, Kans.), have fostered more than 43 kids in their home, and are Mom and Dad to two adopted children and three more for whom they have legal guardianship.

Peace in a time of war

I grew up believing the teaching of Jesus about peace versus killing. I had registered as a conscientious objector (CO), and I was a senior in college in 1942 when my draft board assigned me to a Civilian Public Service camp. We served under government orders with not one cent of pay, or food, or clothing. The churches financed all the support. Some of us were kept in camp months after the war ended, and we left quietly, with no veteran benefits, and certainly no parades or celebrations

Eber Dourte, a member of Dillsburg (Pa.) BIC, served as a CO from 1942–46, during which time he and his wife, Ruth, also began pastoring Hollowell BIC (Waynesboro, Pa.).

Going into the unknown

The Lord came to me, as it were, in the midst of the class work, in the midst of other plans for the future, and swept away my books, reserving only the Bible. In reality, He showed me Christ lifted up for a lost world. He filled me with an unutterable love for every soul who had not heard of Him, and with a passionate longing to go [. . .] away from civilization, away from other mission bodies, and spend the rest of my life in telling the story of the Cross.1

H. Frances Davidson left her family and successful academic career in Kansas in 1897 to become one of the first BIC missionaries.

Living Christ’s love

We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what He did. We can applaud what He preached and stood for without caring about the same things. We can adore His cross without taking up ours. I had come to see that the great tragedy in the Church is not that rich Christians do not care about the poor but that rich Christians do not know the poor. . . . I long for the Calcutta slums to meet the Chicago suburbs, for lepers to meet landowners, and for each to see God’s image in the other. . . . I truly believe that when the rich meet the poor, riches will have no meaning. And when the rich meet the poor, we will see poverty come to an end.2

Shane Claiborne, a member of Circle of Hope (Philadelphia), is the author of The Irresistible Revolution and a founder of The Simple Way, an intentional monastic community that has located itself among the poor and homeless.

1 from Davidson’s 1915 book, South and South Central Africa, p. 23
2 from Claiborne’s 2006 book, The Irresistible Revolution, p. 113–114

This article originally appeared in the spring 2014 issue of In Part magazine.

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