Visiting the Simple Way, Genos and Campolo

Today Rachel and I had three fun experiences. Read her side of the story here.

This morning we awoke early to go with Chris to do some sort of video shoot with Tony Campolo. So Rachel and I sat in a room with about 7 others, and Tony and we got videotaped for a while. It was pretty funny actually, cause Rachel and I were not part of the class that was supposed to be in this shoot but we were there and there was a few extra seats so it worked out in our favour. So there we were in a room of ten people and Tony giving his rant about the Kingdom of God and the video camera was in our face. So if you watch upcoming video projects on TV by Eastern in the next little while you will probably see Rachel and I sitting there next to him, having no idea how we ended up from Canada sitting across from him in Philadelphia the day we showed up there, but it was fun.

Second we went to a place called Geno’s Steaks. It’s famous for the cheese steak and brags to be the one’s that invented it. Apparently its some sort of landmark. The president even wrote them a letter to thank them for their service and they have pictures of massive presidential campaigns being held there. Joe told us about it, and so we went and brought him back a used pop cup and a pen, couldn’t find a t-shirt for him or anything retro that he would hang on his wall. But all that to say the sandwiches were awesome and if you go to Phily, you gotta go there.

Finally, we went to the Simple Way and ate lunch there. It was basically what I expected to be and Rob and Tim, who were there were extremely nice and their hearts were gold. We heard stories of the neighborhood and tried to get an understanding of what they are doing there. The best way to describe it would probably be that they just live there. They eat food, sleep there, watch movies with their neighbours, hang out with kids after school, garden and read lots of mail. There house was pretty dirty, and they didn’t have heat, even in the middle of the winter, I think that if anyone in sarnia lived like they did they would be considered poor and you probably would invite them over instead of going to their place. This is however what I loved about it. I loved how they lived so unpretentious. You could tell the vast difference between how they lived and how the average person lives in Sarnia. They eat anything free it seems, left over food from food banks and don’t spend a lot of money on their stomachs. It was actually quite relieving to see where and how they live. In a way it reminded me of the guys that live across from Next. Just living where you want to serve and caring as much as you can for the people around you.

Living in Sarnia its weird. I feel as if most people live to be financially stable and then live to retire. The more I grow up in Sarnia, the more I realize how dangerous thinking like that can be. Going to the Simple Way was a relief because it let me know that there are others out there that don’t need lots of money, that don’t need a new car (or any car), that don’t need expensive decorative accessories and I’ve never seen people so alive. Who wouldn’t be alive only working a few hours a week and living to spend time with people? Bringing a mentality like that back to Sarnia is going to be difficult because security is so valued. As we learned though in Chris‘ class yesterday the opposite of security is opportunity, and that’sund what I want. I want to unleash opportunity in myself and everyone around me. What that will look like, I am still to find out. Guess I have some posts to flesh this out a bit upcoming also.

4 Comments

  • Sounds like a great experience.

    Glad you enjoyed it. I think I went to Geno’s when I visited Shane and the crew also.

  • Its almost as though you are struggling against North America’s ability to make money and anything industrial.

    If we didn’t have this push for our economy wouldn’t we just be a third world country?

    I know things are out of hand with consumption but can you honestly say its healthy to just “hang out” all day and be social?

  • partly.
    but if that’s how you interpreted what I just wrote, then you missed the point anyway.

  • Sharing your interest in Tony Campolos work, I thought you might like to see this video of him telling stories: http://www.eastern.edu/change

    and jim’s beats pat’s and gino’s anyday.

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