Friday, February 29, 2008

The Who, What, Where, When & How of the Lomelinos in IV


Who are we?
Well, we are obviously the Lomelino family, consisting of Jason & Holly (husband & wife) and our offspring - Samuel, Hope, and the baby in the tummy as Samuel lovingly refers to him or her, plus our beloved Golden Retriever Barnabas. On a larger scale, however, we are also a family of believers knit together by our love for Jesus and our heart for this community (read more about this community in the where section). Our fellowship consists of about 50-60 people, mostly college students and recent grads. Almost our entire church (Isla Vista Church) is under the age of 30. We consist of students, some young marrieds (a few with children, such as ourselves), new believers fresh off the streets of IV, people who have been walking with the Lord anywhere from 4 years to 20 years, people with a heart to see this community redeemed, people who just like the others they've met here, people who've been here 6 years, people who've been here 10 minutes, people who really feel called, people who just happened upon our door step, prayer warriors, teachers, evangelists, you name it.

What do we do?
So, as a family, a major part of what we do is pour our lives out into the people of Isla Vista Church, and live in this community with a heart to see it redeemed. Jason is obviously the one playing the largest part, as the main pastor for the church with the responsibilty of keeping most everything running, from Sunday services, to Monday night dinner & prayer, to Friday night prayer and outreach. But what Jason really does is invest his life into people. That is in fact what we all are doing (though the kids on a very small scale :). Jason often meets with students he has met on campus or from Friday nights, playing a sort of pastor, mentor, discipler sort of role in many of these young men's lives. He also meets with young men in the church and other leaders in the fellowship, bringing encouragement and accountability to their lives. Holly also meets with various women in the fellowship, particularly the female house leader on a consistent basis. We also have a men's group that Jason leads and a women's group that Holly leads that meet weekly.

Where do we do it?
The Lord graciously provided us a house right smack in the middle of Isla Vista, so we are certainly in the middle of it all. But, for this to all make sense, there are a few things that need explaining...

1. Isla Vista -- IV is an area of land on the coast of California that is about 1 sq. mile, yet has a population of around 20,000 people. It is directly on the edge of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), and therefore has mostly college students and some low-income families living here. It is known for its
partying and wild atmosphere, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. It is full of apartments and duplexes, often housing 6-8 people in an apartment, with students usually paying $500-$800 to share a room! It is quite a miracle that God provided our family with a 2-bedroom house in IV, complete with a fenced in yard (where we can have our dog), orange trees, and a washer & dryer! Thank you Jesus!

2. Del Playa (DP) -- this is the street in Isla Vista that is directly by the ocean, and is also the main party street. On Friday and Saturday nights you can't even drive down the streets really because everyone walks in the streets going from party to party. It is also where our ministry houses are located.

3. DP Ministry Houses -- a duplex that houses 7 women in the top floor and 7 men in the bottom floor... people from our church with a heart to be right in the middle of the ministry and to live in radical community and to experience serious discipleship (in a very real life, not always so organized sort of way). The houses in many ways are the hub of much of what we do here in IV. The houses are known in the community and serve as a base for the church. We do our Friday night burger outreach ministry from here, have Monday night prayer here (we have a permanent prayer shed in the back of the houses), and even often end up here for Sunday church services. We have had these houses since even before the church began (6 years now). Fortunately, our family's house in only around the corner from these houses, making us very accessible to one another!

When do we do it?
Of course the answer to this is a given -- all the time! Our lives are very much immersed in this community of people in IVC and in IV as a whole. And then there are the specific events going on: Monday night prayer and community dinner, Wednesday night DP house meetings (Jason usually attends these), Thursday night men & women's groups, Friday night burder outreach, Sunday church service, and all the various meetings with people in between it all (mostly during the weekdays).

How do we do it?
By the grace & strength & favor of the Lord of course! Many people look at IV and think it ridiculous to raise a family here, but we strongly believe God has called our family as missionaries here to this land and these people -- and He has equipped us with hearts and eyes that help us to be here with joy! We see all the beautiful and wonderful things about Isla Vista and love this place.

1 comment:

Dan,Melissa & Caleb Barnett said...

very cool! praise God that you two have been so open to where the Lord had led, and can see this place and people as Jesus does.