Friday, August 27, 2010

But, for the love, WHY?

Over the past few weeks of living in my parents' basement, I have been thinking primarily about 2 things: 1-when and how we can find a house downtown to move into? and 2-how much I adore having a "cleaning lady." Amen.

No, but seriously, I really am so excited about moving downtown. Now all we need to do is find the perfect house. I realize "the perfect house" might be something that we will probably never find, particularly in the 'hood. But we DO want to be wise, strategic, and prayerful in deciding exactly which house we should be moving into. The thing about the neighborhood we feel called to is that it's a little hit or miss. One street might be just wonderful with a mixture of races and religions scattered throughout, manicured gardens, and kids playing outside. But the next street over? There are some serious dark alleys and abandoned houses and what-have-you. So wise is the word for us in deciding exactly which street to move onto.

Of course, many people clearly think we should not even be LOOKING at houses downtown, let alone moving down there with our little family, two year old daughter, small dog, and two friends. In fact, we're sort of getting used to, and maybe even enjoying, the "you be crazy" looks we get on a daily basis. Most people gently suggest living in the suburbs and commuting to do ministry. Or that maybe we should "consider another neighborhood." We also get a lot of questions, mostly this one: WHY?!?

In the interest of answering said question (I love to satisfy the masses, clearly), I thought I'd attempt to explain a little bit about why we're moving into the community with our kiddos. The truth is, though, that I cannot fully explain it because we feel like this move is a calling, much like missionaries are called to Africa or Iraq. We are simply called to Atlanta. And the decision to move INTO the hood was/is a multifaceted one that rests on a variety of factors. Our goal is to reweave the fabric of urban community by building upon existing neighborhood strength. We truly believe that when focused on a single neighborhood with the aim of community transformation, the effects can be dramatic (wording from FCS).

CCDA describes relocation this way: “Living the gospel means desiring for your neighbor and your neighbor’s family that which you desire for yourself and your family. Living the gospel means bettering the quality of other people’s lives spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally as you better your own. Living the gospel means sharing in the suffering and pain of others.

When we look at the Bible and at the life of Jesus, we would describe our ministry as an incarnational ministry, following Christ's example to give up privilege to live among the poor. Want to read more about God's heart for the poor? Check out this list of Scripture verses to get you started. But be warned, it might transform your heart and life when you start to fully grasp it all!

We would love to have you join us in prayer and support for our move. We are still deciding and praying about where exactly we want to live, trying to find a balance between being close to our kiddos and keeping our family safe. Be praying for wisdom, boldness, and favor with the community.

Also, if you have questions about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, how we are going to make it work etc . . . please please please feel free to call or email us anytime - we’d love to talk to you about it!

Go to the people
Live among them
Learn from them
Love them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have:
But of the best leaders When their task is done
The people will remark "We have done it ourselves."

13 comments:

  1. I love, love, love this post.

    Our family is looking into doing pretty much the same thing as yours. Every time we mention to our family that we're thinking about moving to "so&so" they say why would you want to live there?!? Because we feel like that's where God's calling us, that's why! No one can understand why we'd want to live in a "shady" neighborhood.

    Anyhow. I'll be praying for you, your family, and your journey.

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  2. I can't imagine the decisions you are faced with making right now but I do know one thing - you would never ever put Jayci in danger and you will always look out for her above and beyond anything and that's all that matters!!!! :)

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  3. Your family will be in my prayers that God will lead you to the right house and give you peace about your decision.

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  4. you are called girl! we believe in you guys! we know you are going to do big things there and Jayci is called to! people asked us all the time...are you taking your kids?? duh...come on people!! we are called...they are called! it all works together! i wouldn't want it any other way and i know that's how you feel! praying that you will find that perfect house! we did! you just learn that perfect means different things! =)

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  5. It's too bad you get so many questions, but it's amazing that you're able to answer so well. I was just thinking of you a couple days ago. I'm so thankful for the testimony you give us...and the encouragement to do more and serve more.

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  6. Do you know what area you are looking in? There are such cute little bungalows down there. But you are right, it is definitely hit or miss! Good luck finding a new home! Its funny how we are both living in our parents basements with babies and husbands!

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  7. Love this post, love what you're doing. I feel blessed that we already live on "the other side of the tracks." We're getting ready to help friends who are planting a church close to the most culturally diverse intersection in our city (which is about 3 minutes from us). Can't wait to see what God does!

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  8. Thank you for listening to Jesus. And thank you for making a difference. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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  9. Praying for y’all, girl!!! Beautiful post!

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  10. My grandparents fussed and fussed at my folks for taking the grandkids away to "that dangerous place", but as my dad always said, "The safest place to be is in the center of God's will."

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  11. Hey! Just found your blog through your comment from IHeartFaces and added you to my reader. But! Wanted to share that we did the same thing a year and a half ago, except into downtown St. Louis. We couldn't be happier!

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  12. Hey Becca, I'm a new follower and love reading your thoughts and experiences in the "hood." Inner City Ministry is something my husband and I are involved with through our church in Nashville, but we are seeking ways to become more involved with the families of the kiddos we get to love on weekly. I'm curious, do you still have the list of verses you reference above that moved you? The link didn't work for me; let me know if its something I could look for being 3+ years later. God Bless! Ashley Fiant

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