Friday, August 22, 2014

Back in the Neighborhood

Yesterday, Miguel and I led a team of neighborhood volunteers, and every kid who came to our apartment for help with homework got specific attention and finished her or his assignments. It was noisy. Hands shot up. Kids shouted out questions. We kept order and held mental lists of requests in our head, moving from kid to kid, deciding how best to help them.

After two hours, we sent the elementary and middle school students home, bought hot wings for the leaders and sat with them around the living room table talking about soccer, Ferguson, the new baby, music, and the lives that come through our apartment.

We're at the tail end of an exciting week. Our ministry newsletter is being printed and shipped. After praying, writing letters, and sharing a petition, we saw an immigrant father released from detention and reunited with his family. We received requests to share the story of this ministry in nearby churches. We spent time with mentors and co-workers.

This morning, I spent time reading the book of Exodus and studying Spanish. After writing this blog entry, I'll clean up the last traces of the chaos of our after-school program. This rhythm of hard neighborhood work punctuated by time to learn, write, and reflect is something we've been praying for since we moved into this neighborhood nearly six years ago.

Thank you to everyone who gave to make this transition possible. We're thankful for your generosity, and we're working to put together gifts which will be headed your way soon.

Here are a few of the other good things that we can look forward to as we continue to grow:
  • Renaming: The jewelry work will keep the "Refugee Beads" name, but we're planning to name our afterschool program and youth mentoring work. This will allow us to tell their stories better and open more doors for them to grow. 
  • Storytelling: In collaboration with Storyboard, the artist's collective of Open Table Community, I plan to tell more neighborhood stories in print, video, and song. Look for more updates on our blog and facebook page as well. 
  • Teaching: I'm excited to gather some of the interested young men in the neighborhood to talk about their spiritual journeys and share the good news of God's love for them. 

Whether you've prayed for us, supported us, walked with us, or read our story with interest, thank you for your part in placing us here and sustaining us in this good work.

1 comment: