Monday, August 25, 2008

Movin' on up

About two weeks ago, Laura and I made the somewhat difficult decision to move closer to the people that God has called us to. Whether or not to move to the east side has been an issue of much contention since we began our ministry. Among all of the questions that we have mulled over, one has resounded above the rest; is it necessary? Is it necessary to uproot our family and move across town? Is it necessary to move out of a comfortable house in a comfortable neighborhood, and into a somewhat less comfortable neighborhood? Is it necessary to move into such close proximity to a people so different than us? The answer to that question, I have found, depends on just what it is we're trying to accomplish. If our mission is to serve the east side, to provide resources, and to give to the needy, then no it is not in any way necessary for us to relocate. But, if our mission is to establish solidarity with a community, then yes we have to move. And that is what God has called us to. Above and beyond my call to minister, God has called me to be a student. He has called me to that because there is much I need to learn. I need to learn humility. I need to learn submission. I need to learn to share. Much of what I have to learn can only be gleaned by sitting at the feet of a people who have lived a radically different existence than mine. Humility, patience, endurance, and forgiveness can best be taught by those who have been forced to the edges of society. In short, we have things to learn that only the east side can teach us. So, we're not just moving there so we can better meet their needs. We're moving there because we know that we need them as much as they need us. Now, all of this doesn't mean that we're going to pull the plug on all of our ministries. There's just a big difference between ministering to a community, and ministering in a community.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I just realized that I haven't posted in nearly a month. Please forgive my sluggardliness. I thought I would take this opportunity to cover some of my favorite moments from what has been a very busy summer for us. Following is a list of the greatest things I witnessed in the preceding weeks........a group of kids from the east side making commitments at children's camp........a group of kids from more affluent backgrounds willing to endure repeated beatings so that my kids could enjoy a week of camp.......a grown black male, wearing a wife-beater, a pair of inordinately over sized pants, and the enduring scent of a Swisher Sweet playing kick-ball in the park.......people, young and old, black and white, coming together to paint the home of a saint named Vastine Franks.......a collection of old men waiting to have their prostates examined the old fashioned way

Those are just a few of the highlights from our summer. Oh yeah, and Anna Grace learned how to walk.