Community First Village: Week 5

Wow guys, God is really amazing! This week has been jam-packed and though it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses, there have been so many good things happen that it makes it easy to ignore the not so pleasant things.

Wednesday through Friday of last week was pretty standard. We worked our serve duties, went to Luby’s for supper on Wednesday, had our usual and amazing community meal on Thursday. On Friday we received a letter from the IRS notifying us that if there aren’t any problems with our 501c3 application, that we should receive our tax-exempt status in 90 days, so sometime in May we hope!

Saturday was an eventful day. We started potty training Truma when she woke up that morning and later in the morning, Briana went to work at the Community Market for a few hours. We are constantly amazed at how quickly Truma learns and she has been doing very well using her Minnie Mouse potty so far. After Briana finished work, we went out into the village to get in on the action. There was a feral hog roast and afterwards there was a celebration for two neighbors who moved in the previous week. It is such a joyful time to welcome people into the family here. The new residents are presented with baskets containing quilts and food items and each item in the basket symbolizes a different aspect of their homecoming. That afternoon, one of our neighbors presented us with a welcome gift of tamales he made for us. I’m telling you, living in this type of real and close community is something amazing. We are truly beginning to understand that God designed us to need each other.

 Church on Sunday was amazing as usual. It always feels to me like we skid into Sunday at full speed as we are simultaneously running out of gas. There is nothing more energizing and restful than worshiping the Lord and learning more about Him, so the timing is always perfect. We have learned that if we are working to live out our faith, we are going to go to bed tired, but the Lord is the great giver of rest and He empowers us to continue on. The sermon series in 1 Peter is so rich that we have spent 4 weeks in the first chapter. The sermon this week was called A Living Hope and it was a wonderful look into who God is and who we are in Him. Again, 1 Peter 1 is a letter to people who are being persecuted for being obedient to Jesus so it wouldn’t seem that we would leave there feeling pumped up, but what the scripture says about the Lord is breathtaking. In Christ, we have a living hope that is anchored in the past, experienced in the present, and secure in the future. What better news is there than that! Therefore, regardless of our circumstance, we have unshakeable hope.

After 9 months of being on the market, we got an offer on our house! We are still negotiating the deal and have some other showings this week as well so please continue to pray for wisdom in that. The Lord has also begun to place people in our path with land prospects for the village this week, which is very exciting. We also had a friend from Midland who was in town for business come by for a tour. He has expressed interest in coming alongside us to help make this concept into a reality and presented us with some great ideas and connections already.

Monday morning was the beginning of the Symposium for Goodness Sake, which is an awesome way to learn about the Community First! mindset. When I came for their first one back in May of 2016, it really got my wheels turning and was a jumping off point for this road that God has been leading us down. Briana and I still have our serve duties but we were able to join the symposium guests for their trip to the Sunken Gardens at Zilker Park. This is a common hangout for people who live on the streets. We sat in a circle and introduced ourselves and I was so blown away by the stories of why people were here. Each person shared their heart for the homeless and their call from God to serve them. What an amazing group of people from all over the country! We look forward to seeing how the Lord uses them.

 

 

Mobile Loaves and Fishes began as a food truck operation to serve the homeless many years ago and one of the trucks came out to the area we were at. As we walked towards the truck we saw our homeless brothers and sisters coming from all over for a hot meal. The volunteers running the truck were phenomenal. There was love and grace in every word they shared with the people they served and the food was dang good. We all went and sat down, symposium guests and homeless folks together and shared a meal. For a brief moment, we all shed the world’s definitions and were all just people; neighbors breaking bread together.

There was a boy about 7 years old with his mom out there that were seemingly without a place to live. He gave Briana a piece of gum and showed us his flash card game. We didn’t ask questions or hear their story, but Briana and I both were so heartbroken to leave, knowing that he would probably be sleeping in a car or a tent; that he had no home.

Friends, the people you see on the street corner are not so different from us. They have joys and heartbreaks; they love barbecue and Blue Bell ice cream. They need grace, mercy, and community, and so do we! Just because we have houses doesn’t mean we have a home. We are offered an eternal home with God through the blood of Jesus Christ, and with that freedom we are called to be homemakers in a broken world in the meantime.

That hope is available for you and I would love to talk with you more about it. Please feel free to contact me.

Prayer Requests this week:

·      Health for Truma and Briana.

·      Truma’s sleep schedule.

·      Wisdom in selling our home.

·      Praise that my mom’s report was great and she doesn’t have to go back for another checkup for 2 ½ more years.

·      A homeless man we met at the park who is very bitter towards Christianity.

·      New neighbors moving in.

·      Land for our village.