Home House

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Ben

Conversation room

In this space, you can engage with people writing and talking about contemporary issues concerning home and homelessness with some theological reflection. You can hear Manda talk about how being left on a bus at the age of nine, made her appreciate her home and the experiences of homeless people. You can also hear Tanya talk about the homeless people she’s met in her seaside town, and Rebekah talk about a surprising encounter on a bench. There are some questions to help you start a discussion with friends in a group or to help you engage with the stories.

Ben

Manda’s story: home

When I was nine, I used to get the bus from my remote total village to secondary school. There weren’t many buses and the journey took about an hour. One winter day I was coming home on the bus, and I was the only person left on it. I rang the bell for my stop, but the driver didn’t stop. I rang it again but he still didn’t stop. I kept pressing the button, but either the bell had stopped working or he ignored it. I didn’t know what to do, so I just sat there. The bus drove on and on. Eventually the bus stopped outside the bus station in the next town and the driver got out and I got off.

I had no idea where I was or what to do. It was too late to get another bus back. It was in the days before mobile phones and I didn’t have any cash. I was nine years old and stuck and I felt really frightened and vulnerable. So I just started walking. It was getting dark and I was scared to death. It took me two hours to walk home along the dark country roads, getting more and more cold, wet and hungry, as well as frightened. When I got there, my mum was frantic and she just fell on me and started crying and I cried too. I had never been so glad to see my house, with the lights on, and my mum inside, and so grateful for a cup of tea, a change of clothes, and a hot dinner. Once I’d calmed down, had a bath and eaten, I felt so much better and able to look at the whole incident more sensibly.

Later, when I was in bed, I got up and found an old children’s book about the Prodigal Son my grandmother gave me when I was first old enough to read. It never really interested me. But now I found I really knew what it was like to be lost, alone, scared and without anyone to help me. And I really understood how it would feel to come home and be welcomed and taken in by the person who’d missed you and desperately wanted you to come back.

And now whenever I see someone who is homeless, I remember what it felt like to be that scared kid, trying to get home, and I always try to find out what’s happened to them and to help. I was adrift for two hours, but they are sometimes stuck like that for their whole lives. And I am grateful for my home and my family, who welcome me back like a Prodigal even if I’ve just been to the shops. I’m never going to take that for granted.

Questions

  • Have you ever had an experience like Manda’s? What happened and how did it make you feel?
  • What do you imagine Manda’s mum thought and did when Manda didn’t come home on time?
  • What do you think Manda and her mum said to each other when Manda arrived home safely?
  • How important do you think it was that Manda could have a bath and something to eat when she got back?
  • What experiences in your life have affected the way you think about people who do not have homes?
Tanya’s story
© CTBI and MTAG 2014

Navigating the pathways

From here, you can travel as a visitor through a number of pathways through the various cell-spaces finding out what it is like to be an inmate here.

You can mix and match your journey through the different spaces depending on what you would most like to explore, study or do.

Yellow Blue Green Pink

Welcome

  • What is a home?
  • What do you feel about homeless people?

Scripture passages with questions

  • Garden of Eden
  • Babylonian Captivity
  • Jesus has no home
  • Jesus’ mother at the Cross
  • Prodigal Son

Art/images on the theme for reflection with questions and exploration

Gift-giving and baggage dumping

  • Appreciating your home
  • Understanding homeless people better

Thought

  • Brief thoughts from different people about home and homelessness.
  • Questions for discussion

Prayers

For those who have lost their homes. With images for reflection

Research

Websites to explore on the theme of home; homelessness; refugees and asylum seekers

Diary/blog

  • What have you noted down for consideration?
  • Other bloggers; Comments from young people piloting the project

Theology

Theological reflection on home and heaven

Hymns and other music

Choose from Hymns; chants; psalms; classical music; contemporary music

Media

Video clips, TV episodes, Films, Books, Contemporary music

Footsteps of Jesus

  • How did issues of home and homelessness affect Jesus?
  • Matthew 2. 13-15 The Escape into Egypt
  • Luke 4. 16-30 The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth

Stories

Reflective stories
  • Manda’s story
  • Tanya’s story
  • Rebekah’s story
With questions for discussion

Reflections

Story telling
Real life stories
  • Dev’s story
  • Rahena’s story
  • Simon’s story
  • Ana’s story
  • Carl’s story

Recipe - suggestions for hospitality, trying new things

  • Megan’s story; the work of the Salvation Army
  • Making soup to share with others

Dispossession - how am I changing?

  • Going home....what will I leave behind?
  • What new things will I take home with me?
  • Info