Just a few shots from Sunday evening’s gathering Richmond’s 3rd Annual Bless Richmond gathering. What a blessed evening of over 1800 people from countless churches all worshiping the Lord and praying for Metro RVA. In addition, over 11 tons of food (and counting!!) were collected for Feedmore!
SAVE-THE-DATE 2014: Go ahead and put November 23, 2014 on your calendar! We will see you at the 4th Annual Bless Richmond!
Note: Terence Talley is a 17 year old photographer, senior at John Marshall High School and dear friend and neighbor. He does super work! Watch for more pictures coming from hime!
a lot like Christmas. Even Bella is excited!!
Yes…we are THAT couple…THAT neighbor! I admit it. Yes, we have Christmas decorations up with our Halloween pumpkins and fall garden flag and mums before Thanksgiving. Pure craziness, I know. Totally unacceptable. Oh well. So, for the next week or 2, I’m calling it ‘Hallogivingmas’.
I usually can’t stand to see Christmas decorations out before Halloween and Thanksgiving. But, this year…it’s what’s happening. If I don’t manage to get Christmas decorations up before Tuesday of next week, it’s just not gonna happen. Normally, I like to get decorations up the weekend after Thanksgiving. But, this year, it comes really late….and travel and other commitments will keep me too busy to get it done afterwards. So, I said… Why not??? Next, I start the inside. And Saturday, the neighborhood kids are helping me with the tree. Yay!
Anyone want our pumpkins to make something yummy? That’s not happening, either. I have one big one and 2 little ones.
Today is a big, big day in the Williams household!
1 – I got a visit from the ladies at the Nonprofit Learning Point (NLP)! They personally delivered my Certificate of Achievement and balloons! NLP’s Certificate of Achievement in Nonprofit Management is achieved by completing over 120 hours of coursework through 12+ two-day classes and homework assignments. For more information on the Certificate of Achievement, check out their website>>> Nonprofit Learning Point!
Our neighborhood kids and friends have been so patient and encouraging of this commitment. And… LouDawg has been a HUGE supporter!
Even Everett came by for the festivities!
2 – This certification has been completed just in time! Louis and I (along with 3 other founding board members) have officially established our nonprofit ministry – Into the Neighborhood, Inc.! (Be sure to check us out online and on FB!) We are registered with the State Corporation Commission and received our letter today stating that we have completed all the necessary steps to be in compliance with the registration requirements under section 57-49 of the Virginia Solicitation of Contributions Law!
We are in the process of obtaining our 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service. IRS Pub 557 indicates that the effective date of our exemption will be retroactive to our date of incorporation which is September 5, 2013.
All of this legal stuff basically means, we can officially solicit donations! More to come!
Louis and I are celebrating by heading over to Croaker’s Spot for dinner before going to praise God with friends at a Gungor concert!
Our annual front yard Halloween gathering! I think the pictures speak for themselves! We had a blast and had a record number of neighbors and friends – old and new, young and old – who came by! It got so busy we couldn’t keep up with picture-taking and candy-giving.
What a great evening for chillin’ on the front porch with the ones you love! I wouldn’t trade this night for anything.
Last night, I struggled to go to bed and to sleep, but at 2am I finally reached a point where I had pretty much finished processing, crying, fussing at God, crying some more, and much more. Especially as I thought about the many evenings I have spent on our front porch, at our dining room table, playing wii in front of the TV with a house full of youth and friends.
Side note: Louis treated me to hot chocolate chip cookies, since Terence hadn’t been around! Gotta love him for doing that for me!!! (Terence – your cookies are still the best!!!)
If you have no idea what I am talking about, then you missed my last post…check it out here>>> A Night Unlike Most Other Nights.
This morning I woke up well rested and with a fresh perspective. God’s mercies are new…every. single. morning. Instead of feeling defeated, hopeless, mad, and lacking peace, I awakened a new person! I thank God Almighty for hearing and answering your prayers and mine! I felt peace that passes ALL understanding.
I was reminded that we live in a dark, sinful, wretched, fallen world that is in DESPERATE need of a Redeemer and a Savior! We need Jesus. I need Jesus. Jesus is the only answer to what plagues our community. And we are in desperate need of a move of the Holy Spirit…of individual and community transformation.
I woke up with a greater desire and almost a compulsion to share about Jesus and Him crucified. I woke up with courage and boldness to cover our streets, our homes, our children, our community, our city in prayer.
So, tonight…at 6pm, Louis and I held a Community Prayer Service in front of our home – at the corner of Barton and Roberts. We had 30+ people (old friends and new from the community and from other parts of the city) praying bold and outrageous prayers covering our streets, our corners, our homes, our children, our community in the name of Jesus. Not only did we pray for our community, but we also spent time just praising and thanking the Lord for His protection, for His blessing, for HIs goodness and faithfulness, and so much more. We ended our time together singing…
In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus
We have the victory.
In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus
Satan will have to flee.
Tell me who can stand before us
When we call on this great name
JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, JESUS
We have the victory!
Our community grew tighter tonight, as we prayed and believed together….as folks just lingered and talked afterwards. We also had a time of individual prayer with one man who wants a new start in life. He’s been shot 5 times over the years and struggles with a lot. We are claiming a victory…in the name of Jesus!
At the end of the evening, I learned something new that I did not know before. I learned the name of the victim. Again…another young man I have known since shortly after moving to SBH. One who has been in and out of my house when he was in middle school, but now about 18 or 19. One who was in our wedding nearly 5 years ago. One who I love, but Jesus loves more.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come.
Revised 10.29.2013 11:57pm – Read here for an update on our prayer gathering and more >>> New. Every. Morning.
Revised 10.29.2013 2pm – At 6pm tonight, we will be meeting in our front yard for prayer for our community and our city. Feel free to come! 2101 Barton Ave, RVA 23222
Tonight was a night NOT like most. Our neighborhood has been riddled with different problems and challenges over the 8+ years I have lived here (and, of course, before as well). But, the last few years, I have been so pleased with how calm things have been. How our community has been strengthened. Tonight, however…that has all been challenged when someone was shot in front of our home at 8:30 in the evening. A bullet came in the front of the house, between the 2 windows above the couch – traveled through the living room and the dining room and into the back wall of the house. All this as Louis and I sat in our customary chairs watching TV in the living room. Meaning, the bullet went just a few feet in front of my eyes….1/2 way between me and the TV.
I am mad. I am angry. I am hurt (not physically of course). Yet, I am also grateful to God for his protection. I am thankful for the neighbors, friends and family who have checked in on us, have hugged us, called us, texted, FB’d, etc. It’s a real encouragement.
I am asking that you pray for me….especially for peace. It is not unusual at all for us to have folks enjoying an awesome night of good food and fellowship at our dining room table at 8:30 at night. It’s not unusual for us to have neighborhood kids and teens sitting on our couch or at our table doing homework, writing essays, watching the World Series, snacking on popcorn or chocolate chip cookies, etc. Our house is a house of peace…which I now feel has been violated.
This, of course, brought back memories from nearly 6 years ago when someone else was shot outside our home on the side street on Louis’s and my 4th date. The gunshot victim lived after being shot 9 times. Praise God! Tonight, yellow police tape hung around our house for the 2nd time.
I am asking that you pray for my community and others like it. As neighbors called and stopped by, everyone had a story about how bullets had at sometime entered their home by forces beyond their control. Pray for healing in our community.
I am asking that you pray for tonight’s victim and his family. Pray for the medical staff at MCV who is treating him. I understand that he was shot once, and it wasn’t fatal.
I am asking that you pray for the shooter. That God will ‘arrest’ him/her even before the police do. That the shooter will ‘surrender’ his/her life to Jesus and find what he/she is looking for. That the shooter will turn himself in and seek the help he/she needs.
I am asking that you pray for the police and detectives, as they tirelessly work to solve these senseless crimes.
I am asking that you pray for our ministry and our friends. I know that these things often scare people away. We have youth and adults who join us in our ministry on a regular basis. Pray that this does not deter folks from wanting to love our community with us.
I am asking that you pray that God will work in and through us to bring glory to His name. May Jesus’ name be known through us during this time. That we won’t miss opportunities to minister to our neighbors. That this won’t be a distraction from our calling.
I am grateful to God for so much this evening. To name a few…
- All of us are fine. God’s angel armies are camped around us and our home. I still praise God, regardless!
- Terence was on restriction…although I really want some of his chocolate chip cookies!!! :)
- Marques left just moments before the shoot occurred.
- Shooting wasn’t fatal.
- So many neighbors who came to love, support and hug.
- So many friends who are praying, loving and supporting us via email, phone calls, texts, etc.
- Quick and thorough response of our City’s finest.
And, now, I will answer the question that many of you are probably wondering. The same question we were asked last time a bullet came in the house.
“So…are you packing up your boxes yet?”
And our answer remains the same.
“No. Until God releases us to go or sends us some place else, we will stay.” May God be glorified through this and through us.
For those who are curious…and want to see pictures….see below! Wonder what our insurance agent will say when we call tomorrow…