On April 1, 2012, my friend, Sara Kennedy, asked if I would speak to a group at her church about being a good neighbor…telling stories of my life in Southern Barton Heights. It was my honor to tell how God uses me and changes me through this experience. Thanks for allowing me to be part of Shalom Richmond at Stony Point Pres.
“There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.”
Elisabeth Elliot, wife of Jim Elliot, missionary to Waodani people of Ecuador
I moved to SBH almost 7 years ago. I had no idea what God was going to do, or why I was called to live here. In the first few years, a few things went awry…small items stolen from the yard, neighborhood kids presented minor challenges, etc. However some more challenging things occurred as well, like my car being stolen – what the police suspected was gang initiation because a bunch of Altimas got stolen that night and car windows being shot out on another occasion when kids were having a bit too much fun with a bee-bee gun. During these times, friends and family challenged me about my decision to move here. Others asked if I was moving out. Of course, there wasn’t a chance I was leaving. The good outweighs the bad.
Nothing was more challenging than the night a man got shot 9 times outside my back door…on my 4th date with Louis. I didn’t know him, but after the scene was clear, Louis and I responded with first aid, encouragement, prayers and the gift of presence. I am happy to say that Frank didn’t die in the street that night, but lived. That was 4 years ago to the day….January 27, 2008 at 8:30pm. I am sorry that Frank was shot that day. But, grateful that we were there and sooo appreciate the friendship we have developed since. I can now say we are family.
While still in the hospital, Frank asked me if I was going to move. He reminded me that not only was he shot 9 times, but that a bullet also went into my home. The hole is still in the wall actually. I’m not sure why we don’t fix it. It’s like this constant reminder at the bottom of our steps. If we had moved, who would have been there the night that Frank got shot? Who would have given him First Aid when everyone else ran? It reminds me that we do make a difference, even when things seem hard. God loves Frank so much that we found ourselves cooking on the grill that night instead of going out. He loves this community so much that the neighborhood kids were safely in the house that night, instead of being dropped off after Youth Group at 8:30, their normal time. God is in the midst. Even when I may doubt, there is no doubt.
If it’s not worth dying for, it’s not worth living for. There are a lot of other things we could be doing, a lot of other places we could live. But, this is where God has called us, and this is where we shall stay until God calls us some place else.
Especially after the last week, I am reminded again of how we are being used by God. I am thankful for the many opportunities we have had to love and be loved. I wouldn’t trade ANYthing for the last 7 years! In the meantime, my prayer is that we will follow the advice of Jim Elliot…
Wherever you are – be all there.
I was talking to a couple of parents and grandparents about activities their kids could get involved with this summer. So, now…we are making a list of activities to keep kids from getting “bored” this summer! Let me know if you are aware of other activities. Be sure to provide the details. A detailed list will be provided…Dates, Time, Location with address and phone number, and other comments (like snacks, transportation, etc.) If you want a copy of the list, just subscribe to the blog…and you will get a copy when it’s posted!
These free or very affordable activities need to in a healthy and safe environment that fosters inclusion, encouragement, with high morals/values.
Here’s a sampling of the list for Northside kids. It’s still a work in progress.
- 6.27-7.1 9a-12n VBS Triumphant Baptist on Lamb (provide snack)
- 7.5 – 7.29 8:30a-1p Mega Sports Program Triumphant Baptist on Lamb (provide breakfast and lunch) (need to get in early…it’s fills up quickly!)
- 7.11-15 3p-6p VBS STEP @ Eternity Church on Chamberlayne ( provide snack and I am working on transportation if kids will go)
- 7.18-22 9a-12n VBS Commonwealth Chapel (my church) (provide snack) (last year we had transportation. i am verifying for this year.)
- Monday TBD Weekly Missional Community (bible study, crafts and service component)
On Friday, 8/27/2010, STEP (Strategies to Elevate People) will be hosting a Fish Fry (and chicken too!!!) from 11-2 and 4-7. Perfect for a work luncheon….or a cook-free dinner for the family! Place your order by Wednesday, 8/25 to reserve your meals by using this Fish Fry Order Form. (Note: Free delivery for 5+ lunch meals!)
Thanks for supporting this wonderful ministry to Gilpin Court!! To learn more about STEP, attend the reception any time from 4-7pm.
Ministry can be hard work sometimes….and requires a little down time. That’s this afternoon…time to chill. Louis laid down on the floor for a few moments to stretch…and Wesley had to get right up there next to him. Well, the next thing you know…Louis is snoring…and Wesley is not far behind. I captured a few shots before Louis finally opened his eyes. Enjoy the pics of my 2 favorite boys in the world! Love ‘em both!!!
So…it’s been a minute since I last posted. Lame…I know! But we have had LOTS going on!!! VBS Arts Camp Closing Ceremonies, Aunti Patti’s visit from Oregon (including a trip to Busch Gardens), a trip to Charlotte to visit Louise (Louis’ mom) including meeting Richard (Louis’ roommate in Charlotte when they served an inner city project, Piedmont Court) and visiting some Charlotte work friends!!!, and lastly, my sister Rebecca and nephew Nat’s visit from Houston (including my First Squirrel’s game and a trip to Water Country yesterday).
Coming up this weekend, we have Everett’s Birthday Pancake Breakfast, The Walker’s visiting from Panama and Commonwealth Chapel Youth Group Service Project in SBH on Sunday evening! Always something good going on at Miss Marti’s House!!!
So…I will be posting again soon!!! Not to mention, I have Deshawn and Bishop’s words to post! So…stay tuned…I’ll be back before you know it!
Miss Marti’s House partnered with U-Turn and Commonwealth Chapel for a new weekly outreach to the kids ages ranging from 7-12 from Gilpin Court and Southern Barton Heights. On June 26th, we had the kick-off cookout which you can read about in my 6.26 post, It was a GREAT day @ Miss Marti’s House.
Today was the first official trip…with about 15 kids from Southern Barton Heights and Gilpin Court. Not only did they get to play soccer, but they also got to hear from the U-Turn President and a guy who used to play professional soccer! In addition, Rikki gave a lesson from 1 Corinthians on how each part of the body plays an important role in the serving and worshiping Jesus.
Watch for testimonies coming from the kids next week! Many of them had a busy week at VBS Arts Camp and ended the week with U-Turn!
Here are a few pics from the morning….
Louis’s mom, Louise, lives in Charlotte. He and his sister have been taking great care of her during and following a recent knee replacement. Some of the kids learned about it…and wanted to make her a Get Well card. So…here they are! When Louise comes to visit, the kids like to call her “Grandma” which makes her day…and mine! Because, we are like one big family! Her only 2 grandsons are so grown and live on the other side of the country, which makes her miss them desperately.
Yesterday, the boys also decided that they need to have some chores around the house…so they have selected their assignments…
- Bishop – He will feed and water the birds!
- Larry – He’s going to water my plants in the backyard!
- Deshawn – He will care for the plants on the front porch!
They are really great kids…and so polite and wise beyond their years. It has not taken them long to realize that some of the nonsense that is told to them by some neighbors is just that…NONSENSE! I’m so proud of them and thrilled they are part of my life.
We had a WONDERFUL time today partnering with U-Turn and Commonwealth Chapel this afternoon to reach out to the kids of Southern Barton Heights!!! Over 20 kids signed up for the upcoming Saturday morning events. Each Saturday the kids will be scooped up to be taken to U-Turn to play sports for a couple of hours. In addition, they will be fed…both physically with a snack AND spiritually with the Word of God.
Thanks to the Commonwealth Chapel Missional Communities and to U-Turn for killer partnership!!! You guys are the BEST!!! May you be blessed for the sacrifice of your time and love!!! Louis and I look forward to partnering more in the future! Even more…I’m looking to see what the Lord will do with this time! To God be the Glory!
In 3 Boats Sited in Southern Barton Heights, I told you the story of how the Fletcher’s and the Garza’s came through with the laptop! I am PLEASED to say that Mario delivered it today!!!
I am just FILLED with thankfulness and gratitude to both families for helping us out! Everett aka “the Gardna” was the first to use it! He loves for me to find his favorite old school R&B songs for him to listen to. Now…he is learning to do it himself. He calls it “you-tubin’”. His first search? Average White Band – Cloudy! He played it over and over! It brought joy to both of us! So now…we are in search for a set of speakers so he can hear it better! I wish I had gotten a picture of him, but I was working!
So, this is where I need some help from some teachers and parents! What are some good sites the kids can visit to LEARN something this summer? Ages are mostly elementary and middle school age. Some are high school. How can computer use be used as a reward? What are some good “rules” to put into place (other than the obvious…no downloading, no porn, etc)? We have A LOT of kids from many families who hang here…so think about the impact of that with any advice given. They will learn to share…if nothing else!!!
In addition…watch for a future blog where m2k’s are the authors and photographers! Just have to think of a name! That just might have to be a contest for the kids! Name the blog…get the first post! hmmmm….i think that I might be on to something!!!