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Spring 2014
BMM Current Issue
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Feature Story
 
Medicine Avenue
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“Do you remember who I am?”

“Yes.”

“My family and I would like to come back.”

“Anytime!”

“No, we’d like to come and work long-term.”

Silence.

“I think you should,” Farmer finally answered. “I think you should be director of the Institute.”

Tso laughs incredulously as he remembers the call. “At the time, there was no institute!” he explains. “It was just a dream Stan had.” But the dream started a conversation, and in the end Tso made a five-year commitment to create His Mansion Institute, the training arm of His Mansion Ministries that would focus on staff training, internships (for college students interested in practical ministry), replication (of their healing community model), and research (to understand why what’s working works).

The decision to pull up roots and drive across the continent to start a new life in August 2008—with no salary, a large family to support, in close quarters with recovering addicts and survivors of all sorts of trauma and violence—might seem at odds with Tso’s self-described type-A personality. But it spoke directly to two fundamental drivers in his life: the desire to serve Christ and the quest for community.

Community, Tso is quick to point out, is not about people living together in blissed-out harmony. On the contrary, it represents an indivisible pairing of imperfection and commitment, where members are at once flawed—“broken”—and devoted to each other (and to God) in spite of those flaws. For Tso community is, if not forged in adversity, strengthened by its own shortcomings and the very struggle to remain true to it. And so, united at His Mansion Tso found the essential life ingredients he’d been seeking: a community based on faith, an opportunity to help others, and that brokenness that made it all mean something more.

Tso on the His Mansion campus.
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