I have been dreading this post simply because it has been so long since I have written and so much has happened. Also because I intend to give a recap of 2017 which is a lot to cover. I have been unable to write because there just hasn’t been time. Life is real crazy right now and there are so many wonderful things happening. Bear with me as I try to organize my thoughts and get you caught up to speed.
2017 was an incredible year. I can honestly say that it was the most challenging and rich season of spiritual growth I have experienced to date. Starting with packing our family into an RV and moving to Austin during the first week of January ’17, we haven’t ever laid so much on the line for Jesus, and we experienced His faithfulness like never before.
Our time in Community Corps at Community First Village in Austin will forever be such a sweet memory for us. We learned how to love our neighbors and be loved by them in return. We learned how to find comfort and peace in uncertainty. We experienced God in many powerful ways. We continue to yearn for the close community we had while living there and it drives us every day. Now that we have experienced it, we can’t forget how lovely it was to be vulnerable and invested with our neighbors.
While in Austin we unexpectedly found out that we were going to have a second child. It was quite a shock since we lived in an RV and didn’t have any income at the time, but we are now the proud parents of Truma our two-year-old daughter and a 4-month-old little boy, Titus O’Daniel and we are so thankful.
In June we started up Breaking Bread Mobile, a food truck ministry of Breaking Bread Kitchen here in Midland. After months of going out each day to feed the homeless and hungry, I can look back now and see how much God has done through it. Our homeless friends have been shown great amounts of love, our volunteers are impacted oftentimes significantly by their time on the truck, and most importantly people on both sides of the coin are coming to know Christ.
We have been so encouraged with the community response to viewing homelessness from a different perspective. There have been countless people step up to help us, come alongside us, and minister to the homeless in their own way. First Presbyterian Church hosted a Christmas Eve brunch and service to connect their members with the homeless people showing up on Sundays and it was an overwhelming success. They are continuing to look for more ways to unite people of all kinds who are created in the image of God. Two volunteers turned friends spent 24 hours on the streets with me participating in a “Street Retreat” which was transformative for all of us. We were shown radical hospitality by a longtime homeless friend and we spent valuable time building relationships with others on the street. We were truly served and I know for sure that none of us will ever be the same.
While things haven’t gone as fast as we had hoped with The Field’s Edge, we are progressing nicely and growing at a (somewhat) manageable rate. We felt that we were very close to finalizing a land deal for the village but there have been some complications with our original site and we are looking at several alternatives. We have decided to pursue an intermediate step in order to start our programs sooner, establish a reputation, and build a support base. These things will be accomplished through a community garden in town. We are working with the City of Midland to lease some property to have a large garden, a workshop, an office, and to display our tiny home model. This would give Midland a snapshot at what our village will look and feel like. 2017 was a year of planning, but we really want 2018 to be a year of doing.
The most recent development is what we believe to be a call on our lives to serve not just the physically homeless but also the spiritually homeless. Our underlying purpose in all that we do is rooted in The Great Commission from Matthew 28.
That said, Briana and I feel that it is both a personal responsibility and a privilege to pursue the planting of a church on site at The Field’s Edge tiny house community. We still firmly hold the position that residents will have no religious requirements, and the church will be an entirely separate entity. We hope to engage both village residents and people from the neighboring community and participate in soul winning for Christ. This is all very new and we have no detail on how it will come about, but we would greatly appreciate your prayers as we discern God’s will.
God is amazing y’all. Five years ago I was not a Christian. I loved sinful things. I was lost. “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”- Titus 3:4-7 It is because of His great mercy that The Field’s Edge is growing and succeeding. Our prayer is that the work we do for the homeless and for our community will shine light on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. May He be glorified greatly in 2018.
- Community Garden
- More Help
- Additional Board Members
- Changed Hearts