It has been over a month now that we have been back. We have started to settle into the new normal and develop a rhythm. We have somewhat figured out a routine that keeps things semi orderly and on time living nearly 30 minutes from town. I woke up this morning to write the blog and the past week has run together with the others–meetings and more meetings. I looked back at the calendar to see what exactly had happened and I was amazed at all of the good things I had forgotten about.
We had a very productive board meeting on Wednesday. We have a great team that really understands the vision and we are really honing it in preparation for the upcoming Steering Committee meeting and beyond.
Thursday seemed like a regular day of meetings, all great ones no doubt, but the lunch we had with our friends blew the others out of the water. We got together to talk about the tiny house model on wheels that we are preparing to build. We bought plans online and were trying to figure out logistics. About midway through lunch they brought tears to our eyes and gigantic smiles to our faces. We are pleased to announce that our friends at Kahler Homes have generously offered to sponsor and build our very first tiny home! This home will help us to show people in Midland that our vision is not only to house the homeless but to give our very best by building beautiful quality homes. It will also be the starting point of the conversation to explain what Alan Graham at MLF has discovered, “Housing will never solve homelessness, but community will.”
Thursday was also the very last day of chemo for our pastor and friend Dr. Wood! His doctors have said that there is no sign of the cancer, praise God, but his immune system is at its lowest point ever. Please join us in prayer that his body would fully heal very soon!
Friday we had lunch with the Permian Basin Builders Association. They are going to do a little write up about us in their upcoming publication and I foresee a long and mutually beneficial relationship in the future. We truly have the best people here in Midland. Later that afternoon I had a good visit with our Sheriff about our plans for The Field’s Edge. I have a great respect for the Sheriffs office in Midland County. My great-grandfather “Big Ed” Darnell was the sheriff of Midland Country from 1941-1976. Sheriff Painter has been in office since 1985 and has been a staple of our community for my entire lifetime plus some. Briana’s grandfather Fred Poe served as Assistant City Manager and City Manager between the years of 1964 and 1993. All of these great men have helped to craft Midland into the wonderful place it is today and we intend to carry on their legacy.
Later that evening, we were getting together for family supper at Chick-Fil-A and I got there a little bit early. I noticed two homeless guys in the parking lot and as I looked closer I realized that I knew them both well. I hadn’t seen them since we got back from Austin and had been wondering if they were ok. One of the guys, Jeff, is a graduate of Lee High School and a 33 year Navy Veteran. The other, Kenny, is a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam. Jeff spent last Thanksgiving with us and it was one for the books. We sat on the back porch and sang old hymns with my Dad while the turkey was in the fryer. He has become a close friend and he sure loves Truma aka “Little Bit”. They hadn’t eaten in a few days so we went to Taco Villa. While they ate, Kenny started talking about his faith and essentially gave me a sermon right there in the dining area.
He began with quoting a verse from 1 Timothy:
It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
Then he continued by talking about the guilt and depression he suffers from due to his history, but also the about hope the above verse gives him. He said, “If Christ came to save Paul, the chief sinner, He can save me too.” Amen Kenny, Amen.
That evening Briana and I went out to look for where our homeless friend are sleeping so that we can develop a route for the new Breaking Bread Mobile breakfast truck. We didn’t get as much time as we wanted but we got to spend some quality time with a few of our friends on the streets. James, a native of Arkansas, shared his life story with us. His wife got cancer and he lost his trucking job for staying in the hospital too much and missing work. After she passed away, his life fell apart and he turned to the bottle for comfort. One thing we have learned in working with people on the street is that people do not become homeless as a result of addiction, they develop an addiction as a result of homelessness and despair. In the photo below you can see the pain in James' eyes. A man made in the image of God who needs his brothers and sisters to step up and help restore his dignity and to be the community that he so desperately needs.
I had a doctor’s appointment today to get the results of my MRI. Basically I have a disk that is extruded in two places and my primary doctor is referring me to a neurosurgeon. He described me as a "ticking time bomb" for complete separation of the disk which could result in emergency surgery to avoid paralysis. I would appreciate your prayers for whatever lies ahead. We also just found out that our dog Waylon is going to need another ACL surgery. It all seems a little daunting but we sure aren't going to let these small things get in the way of our great joy in Christ.
Our land search continues to narrow due to land constraints but we have several individuals and companies that are looking for us. We know it’s the Lord tightening our search down to just the right piece of property, even though it sometimes feels that our options are just being limited. We are also working to raise support for the shortfall in our income so that we can continue to pursue The Field's Edge full time. I am working part-time for breaking bread (our first run is tomorrow!), but we are in need of partners who want to help us get off the ground. Thank you again for reading and keeping up with us. Things are starting to get exciting and once we get this tiny house model on the streets and our Steering Committee going, I have a feeling things are going to start moving quickly.
· Vacation Bible school is going on this week at our church. Pray for the volunteers and the kids and that many would come to know Jesus as their Savior.
· My back.
· Land search.
· Dr. Wood in his recovery from chemo.
· Discernment for upcoming decisions.