As we are developing our plans for The Field’s Edge, we are driven even more by the sense of family we experienced at Community First. We think of our friends in Midland on the streets who have never known such love and we desperately want to welcome them home. We want to bring people into the family they never had and to know the love of Jesus like never before. We are chomping at the bit to see this through.
When I think about it, blacksmithing really is a great metaphor for the way God molds and shapes us; bringing us from dead pieces of cold steel into masterpieces that He had in mind before he lit up the forge. In the Christian life, we are heated and refined through the fires of trial, making us malleable for the Lord’s shaping. We are cooled and tempered into what we were always meant to become.
God is able to make The Field's Edge a success, but even if He doesn't, we will walk into the furnace of creating a community for the formerly homeless, knowing that He has called us to give our lives in pursuit of it, and most importantly that following Him is worth every cost. What we have set before us is going to be an incredible challenge and there is no way we can do it on our own. God willing and by His power alone, we will lift people off the streets and help change many lives for His glory.
Several months ago before we even knew we were pregnant, Bonnie, our neighbor at Community First told my parents on their first visit here that Truma was going to have a little brother. My Mom and Dad looked at us like, “Do you have something to tell us?” But we brushed it off and told them that Bonnie was just being silly. Little did we know, the Lord was already knitting a beautiful baby boy together in Briana’s womb.
I heard the voice on the other side of the phone say, “It’s a boy!” as Briana and I looked at each other. My biggest smile stretched a little further. We hugged and cried for joy that we would have a son. Bonnie was right all along.
We are pleased to announce that by the grace of God, The Field’s Edge Inc. is now officially a 501c3 non-profit organization. When we filed in early January, we were told that we could expect to have a response from the IRS between 3 and 18 months, and that the response might be a request for more information. For us to get our approval in just over 4 months is literally a miracle.
A profound moment occurred on our drive back from the hospital after we found out that his hand wasn’t broken. We were stopped at the light at the intersection of 183 and Loyola where he had panhandled and lived for over 2 years. There was a man “flying a sign” at his old corner. My neighbor looked me in the eye across the truck and said, “Do you have any idea how demoralizing it is to beg for money?”
Admittedly, it’s not easy to wrap my mind around living in the present and trusting God for provision. It is not in my sinful character to relinquish my perceived control. In reality we have no control and there is no security apart from the Lord, but what a great freedom it is to know that God knows exactly what we need to carry out His will and He also loves to provide for His children. Disclaimer: His provision will probably not look like our plans at all, thank goodness!
To know the depths of their broken lives that led to homelessness, the suffering they’ve been through, and the healing that has taken place is a stunning portrait of God’s love. Like me they are sinners in need of a Savior; people in need of love. They’ve made us tamales, had us over for a beer, and welcomed us into this stained glass window of intentional Christian community.
I want to reemphasize our gratitude for your prayers for us and for The Field’s Edge. Know that along with us, you are participants in some amazing things that the Lord is doing. One thing I can share with you is that God is working out the details for The Field’s Edge to start lifting people off the streets in the next few months.
Aside from the move-out, God has been doing big things in our lives this week. We had several meetings pertaining to our return to Midland and the startup of The Field’s Edge. There were some things that happened that were far too wild to be coincidence. Several times, Briana and I were simultaneously laughing and crying tears of joy with our jaws on the floor as we caught glimpses of the tapestry God is weaving.
Our goal should be to come together as the Body of Christ, working towards the common goal of reaching the lost with the Good News. While I know we don’t live in a perfect world, we are learning that intentional Christian community can empower the Church to fulfill its role as a family and the Body of Christ.
It is truly heart changing to witness the command to love your neighbor lived out on a daily basis. That is why God has called us here. Not to learn about how to manage a tiny house village or coordinate the manufacture and sale of artisanal goods, but to be immersed in a place where each person is cared for with the utmost love and respect. This is the way that God is showing us how to love our neighbors as ourselves.
This four months here at Community First! is sure to be both an incredible experience to serve and learn as well as a humbling and challenging time for our family. We know without a doubt that God called us here and as we struggle to make this trailer feel like home, we feel his presence and his peace. We know that the experiences we have had and will have are by design to mold us into exactly who He wants us to be.