On the Waka Against the Tide, Towards the Kingdom
By Justin and Jenny Duckworth
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As you flip these pages, you feel your soul start to breathe better. It is a call to break free from all that suffocates us and to live with the recklessness and innocence of the lilies and sparrows.
Justin and Jenny not only invite you to reject the counterfeit splendor and empty promises but they point you towards new rhythms and holy habits that move the world a little closer to God’s dream for it.
author, activist, recovering sinner
On the Waka is the story of the Urban Vision community in New Zealand. A group of Christian young adults who have over the last 15 years relocated to the colorful ends of their city to share life with those who are struggling, homeless, unwell, poor, neglected or marginalized. It has grown over time to seven neighborhoods where on any one day you may find ‘Urban Visionites’ growing vegetables in the concrete, teaching English to refugees, offering alternative education programs to out of school teenagers, fostering children, doing church space with the homeless, offering friendship to the mentally ill, roasting fair trade coffee, running kids clubs, mums groups, tenant meetings or just sharing yet another cup of tea with their neighbors. In fact sharing is a good summary of what they do. They share homes, food, money, vehicles, jobs, prayers, dreams, conversations, fun, tears, pain, hope, healing, transformation … they share the whole of life with each other and with their neighbors. They live the gospel, this good news story of Jesus.
Jenny and Justin Duckworth were founders of this movement and share with the reader not only their story of twenty years of radical community but their insights along the way. Using the analogy of an old Maori canoe they liken the journey of following Jesus to the margins like getting on board an adventurous journey. There are certain things you need to take on board and other things you need to throw over board to make room. But they are aware too of the strength of the cultural tide around us pulling us away from life following Jesus to a life of consumerism and individual gain. They challenge our comfort with normal western living in a world of poverty and injustice.
Responding to a growing desire they find in young adults to live lives of faith and hope, to live the dream, they write to the ‘want to be radical followers’ everywhere. These are not just the ideas and values that form their theology of mission and community but practical tips of how to get involved in your own community, including a section on how to launch. Their invitation is not just for super star Christians, it’s for anyone interested in making a difference in the world.
About the Authors of “Against the Tide”
Connected to the Anglican Church, Justin as a voluntary ordained priest, they have a passion for the church. They love supporting others to find the calling to a life of passion and involvement. They help ordinary people find the extraordinary life the gospel calls us to.
Jenny and Justin are well educated and experienced yet they have no intention of living any other way than in the heart of the struggle, grass roots, building communities of involvement for those who are broken and struggling. They live the good news of a transforming gospel.