2015 – A Year in Review

What a year! WOW! And what a year we have to look forward to. (More to come from that in an upcoming post!) Here’s a quick snap shot of the Year in the Life of Marti and Louis Williams and their work in Richmond and beyond!  I’m sharing these things to give you insight to how we spend some of our time, but also in hopes that you will glean some ideas on how you, too, can join in God’s mission of loving your neighbor! I pray that you will share your ideas with us as well! Always looking for something new!! Enjoy!

January 2015  –   The Usual New Years Day Open House

We start every year with a New Years Day Open House from 10a-2p where we flip pancakes and hang out with about 100 of our closest friends and neighbors. For some reason, I have not ONE picture! Dope!  Anyway – it’s a great way to connect people from different parts of your life – work, home, and play.

February 2015  –   Mardi Bras RVA

You filled the pod with bras, underwear, pads and tampons for women who are homeless or on a low/restricted income! and we got to meet Karla Redditt!!! Amazing effort by everyone involved! Y’ALL ROCK!!! Get ready for Mardi Bras RVA 2016! For more info >> click here!

 

March 2015  –   Community Trustbuilding Fellowship

Throughout late 2014 and early 2015, I (Marti) joined about 30 other folks from across the Richmond area (as well as Texas, Washington DC, Ohio, Tidewater, Cameroon and the Netherlands) once a month for 5 months to participate in Initiatives of Change’s program called Community Trustbuilding Fellowship.  As a diverse group of individuals, we came together as a community – learning about how to build trust building through facilitating dialogue through experiential learning. Great experience! Highly recommend it!

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April 2015  –   Easter!

We continued with our Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Joy Bombing – as we drove around Richmond bringing joy, a blessing or prayer and some candy! What a treat! For more pictures, click here >> EASTER 2015.

May 2015  –   Church Facing Outward

Church, to me, is the body of Christ-followers…. not a place that people go on Sunday morning. We ARE the church. We go to gatherings or worship services. This is our how our church gathers on Tuesday evenings.

This is how we sometimes gather. This particular day we served a neighbor, together with his family and some other neighbors, to clean up an overgrown yard. You see, this neighbor happened to have a short stay in the county jail and was about to rack up major fines. So, we worked with the city on his behalf and got to work! Resulting in NO Fines and an opportunity to show our love in a practical way!

May 2015  –   Memorial Day Community Cookout

This is an annual tradition for us! Bringing people together over food is one of our favorite things to do to build community! Go ahead and mark your calendar for this year’s gathering! Check pintrest for your favorite recipe! 🙂  More 2015 Pictures

June 2015  –   Lemonade Stand

Weekly, we gather together to study God’s Word, build nurturing relationships and serve the community. Part of that is FOOD! We have dinner together. The kids of our church family wanted to cook dinner, but didn’t have money to do that. So, they held a lemonade stand and then worked to plan, budget, prepare, cook and clean up afterwards! One of the best meals EVER!!!

June 2015 – Hope Church Neighbor Lovin’ Day

Hope Church also brought a team to serve our community by picking up trash, pulling weeds, trimming brush and more! They were able to meet neighbors along the way and involve them in the work – building friendships and community across geographic barriers.  See More Pictures

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July 2015  –   Annual Camp Splash – Backyard VBS

Again, in partnership with Hope Church, we held our 4th annual backyard VBS – Camp Splash! The kids FAVORITE gathering of the year! Grateful for all who serve and also provide meals each day!  We couldn’t do this without your help!  This year we capped at over 50 kids this year!  See More Pictures – Day 1    Day 2    Day 3    Day 4    Day 5

August 2015  –  Friends of John Marshall High School

A group of us went to John Marshall to help prepare the school for the first day – picking up trash, planting flowers, painting and more!

September 2015  –   Back to School

THIS. DAY. What a blast! Tons of people made signs and brought chalk and granola bars. 3 of us went out before day light and decorated the kids’ yards, bus stops, and sidewalks. Then, we went from bus stop to bus stop handing out granola bars and hugs galore! What FUN!  More Pictures!

September 2015  –   UCI Cycle Race

We took the opportunity to do something fun – going to the bike race and turned it into a way to serve. Just hanging out on the street…cheering… and chatting it up with people from all over Richmond and the World!  More Pictures!

September 2015 – West End Send Off

2 of our church family got hitched and moved to the West End. It is their intention to get to know and love their neighbors. So, some of us went to their home and served up ice cream, which allowed them the time to socialize and get to know their neighbors. We always appreciate it when people come along side of us to do that.

October 2015  –   Front Yard Halloween Party

Each year, we move the corn hole, snacks and hot apple cider to the front yard and just hangout getting to know our neighbors. Also a simple way to gather together – sharing life with a neighbor and a friend. Another day I totally forgot to take a picture or 2.

November 2015  –   Jobs for Life in the RCJC

Along with countless volunteers from numerous churches, we spent 2 days a week for 8 weeks in the Richmond City Justice Center (RCJC – aka the city jail), facilitating Jobs for Life (JfL).  JfL is a biblically based job and life preparation training program that teaches how to obtain, maintain and thrive in a job. This was real gift to us. God showed us favor in so many ways!  The class of 9 had a 100% graduation rate!  We are starting 2 classes this month!  Join us, will you?

  • You can learn more about Jobs for Life in the RCJC here >>> JfL in RCJC.
  • More pictures of the graduation >> JfL Graduation.

December 2015  –   Christmastime

Nothing like gathering together to celebrate the birth of Christ and remember why He came. He came to serve, not to be served. He came to be light in the world. He can to die so that we may live. And he came to send us to do the same. That’s always a hard pill to swallow.  Am I willing to die so that another may live? I mean really. I’m the one who gets ticked when my Dr. Pepper is flat.  Sigh. God has much work to do in me.

This year Louis and I  were reminded there are angels all around us – mighty sword-weilding ninja warriors who are protecting and fighting on our behalf. We learned (AGAIN!) that we fight not against flesh and blood, we fight against the spirits and principalities that seek to destroy, distract, and depress. I am learning (AGAIN!) that we don’t fight like others fight. We are to pray like none-other. I am learning (AGAIN!) to rely and depend upon God to fight my battles….as I kneel. (Yes – I saw War Room.  Can you tell???)

This Christmas we went with a crew of people to Glorious Christmas Nights and the Christmas Parade and luncheon – thanks to the donations of some great friends and organizations!  We are grateful for our friends from Restoration Church who joined us in Christmas Caroling! What a terrific experience for us all!

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Everyday Walk Around Lives – 2015, Looking at 2016

OK – I hesitated to post all of this, because I feared that it would look braggadocios. “Look at everything we did!” But really…. this is more like it right here. Let me share with you some real pictures of our everyday lives. It’s not all that exciting… trust me. NOTE:  This year, we will be working on our own ‘soul care’. Taking time to nourish ourselves – mind, body and soul. Taking care of our marriage, our health, and our own relationships with Christ.  Don’t hesitate to remind us that this is not a sprint, but a marathon.

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Here we are on our anniversary – I think or was it Louis’s birthday? Not sure. But, it’s our normal, everyday life. Feel free to stop by if you can handle all the fun!

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This is us eating NOT SO HEALTHY food. Nothing like a ice cream, apple, whipped cream with drizzles of caramel and cinnamon on a funnel cake.  Sigh.

Lastly, we say thank you! Thanks to all of you who have supported us through our work through the non-profit – Into The Neighborhood, through our church – Life Transformation Church, and us directly as a ministry couple. We couldn’t do all this (and more) without your love, support, prayers and financial gifts. So, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We ask for your on-going support, and there are a few ways that you can do that.

  1. To support the ministry of Miss Marti’s House and Into The Neighborhood, click here>> Support Into The Neighborhood
  2. To support the church/gospel planting efforts- Life Transformation Church, click here>> Support Support Life Transformation Church
  3. To save on the fees associated with online giving, you can always send a check to us at 2101 Barton Avenue, Richmond, VA 23222.
  4. To support us as a ministry couple, please contact us directly, and we will share with you how to best support.

Thanks again, neighbor.

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