Thursday, October 4, 2012

Neighborhood update

How is it going? 

We are often asked this question about the ministry we are doing in our new neighborhood & community. (For more info about what we are doing: see this post, this post, and this post.) So this post has been a long time coming. But it is maybe the most overwhelming to write. I’ve started it in my mind several times but it’s so hard to sum up in words how we feel like everything is going.

It’s also difficult to measure our ministry in any type of metrics... tangible stories or events…when it is so much about the slow-building of relationships that will take so much more time than a few months.

But I think it’s good to stop and reflect and share. So in order to make it a little less daunting, I’m going to split it into little sub-sections.

Safety 
Amazingly and thankfully I feel incredibly safe in our home and in our neighborhood. So much is happening around us and outside our windows but the Lord has been gracious to protect us from it. I also think we have done some smart, easy things to help with this feeling of safety – locking our doors, setting our alarm both during the day and at night, not going out by myself at night, etc. We’ve only had one incident where we had to call the cops (domestic fight in our front yard that Rob had to break up), and that was scary, but even in that – the Lord really protected us. I also feel safer every day because we have great relationships with our neighbors, and we are confident that they would not just stand by and watch someone rob or harm us.

Location 
We are so thankful that it seems like we are in just the right place. I have not second-guessed our neighborhood choice one single time since we moved. We are blessed to have many people we can minister to in our neighborhood, but even if all those people moved out, we have so many organizations/opportunities around us where we can reach out and serve. We have a community park within walking distance (Lion’s Park), we can see a large housing project from our house (Raleigh North), a Boys & Girls Club is about 2 miles away, as is an at-risk high school. We also literally have a bus stop in our front yard, which is great for meeting people and having opportunities to talk to them. There is no shortage of opportunities to share the Gospel and share our lives.

Source: etsy.com via K C on Pinterest


Our Neighbors 
We love our neighbors. We've really gotten to know our direct neighbors - next door and across the street. We have two really unique and very different opportunities to serve in very tangible ways. I’ll try to describe them and our relationships with them as sensitively as possible and also without sharing their personal lives all over the internet :) Our next door neighbors are an elderly couple who have lived in their house since the neighborhood was built. They have been in & out of the hospital since May. We have gotten to know their son very well and have been able to bring some peace of mind to their family, knowing that someone is keeping an eye for them. We’ve also gotten to mow their lawn, and watch over their house while they are struggling with their health. It’s such an awesome opportunity to serve. Our across the street neighbors have been renting their house for 6 months. They have a lot of jobs at odd hours and there are always a lot of people coming in and out of their house – lots of activity. They are some of the most outgoing and friendly people though. I think Rob did a great job of saying hello and chatting with them every time he saw them at first and now they feel totally comfortable coming over to chat or knocking on our door asking for a favor. It’s so awesome. Rob has a really cool relationship with our neighbor’s uncle who comes over often. Rob offered to mow their lawn and mentioned that he’d have to wait until we got our lawn mower fixed. Uncle Aaron piped up that he actually fixes lawn mowers and so he tinkered around with ours & fixed it for free! So Rob got to mow their lawn to say thank you and later Uncle Aaron even asked Rob for a ride to the doctor. I love how this relationship is developing – it’s mutual and not just us reaching out to them. We also had our neighbor's stepson and friend (two high school aged guys) come over and ask for a favor...so we got to get to know them too and Rob got to talk to them about FCA at their schools. It seems like we have so many opportunities to connect and get to know them.


That’s a small little summary for you! There are so many little stories and experiences that have encouraged us along the way – too many to share! We feel really blessed to be where we are and to be called to this area and this ministry. Thank you, Jesus!

2 comments :

  1. Nicole your attitude is amazing. So encouraged by your blog and excited to imitate your faith. Thanks for posting this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lisa - thank you for your sweet comment! I would love to spend some time with you and get to know you better!!

    ReplyDelete

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Have a wonderful day & thanks for stopping by! xoxo
Nicole