Maxine & Me
We’re excited to announace that our Ace | Neighbor program is tripling in size over this past summer. This program really doesn’t deserve a title, but it’s our initiative (and we hope to create more opportunites in the next few years) to get suburbanites out of…the ‘burbs and into the city. Living! Not just in and out…but relocating!
Our first Ace House has been occupied for over 9 months, and a few weeks back Ashley moved into the lower half of our second place–just two blocks away from house #1.
My family and I are moving to the upstairs part of this duplex within the next few weeks. If our transition is anything like Ashley’s, we anticipate that the move will be the EASY PART! (And, let me tell you, moving is NEVER FUN!) Because if we truly seek to live God loud in the city, to be His hands and feet, that means we’ll have to walk with people…and that means being in relationship with our neighbors and community. Diving deep. And relationships….neighbors…always means getting dirty. Messy….
Ashley has been moved in and settled for about three weeks now, and shared with her family and friends what she’s encountered thus far in her journey. She shares:
Living in the city has been wonderful, I love being down town and trying out new coffee shops and seeing new restaurants I want to try. I love being a part of the city and I’m so excited for what God is going to do to me and through me as I continue to walk this path.
As I close this letter I wanted to tell you about one woman I have met in the back alley of my place and talked to a few times. Her name is Maxine and in our few encounters at night as she cuts through the empty lot next to mine to the other street where she lives I’ve already learned so much about her and from her.
Here are a few things about Maxine I have learned:
-She left home when she was 14 because her mom wouldn’t listen to her that her step dad was bad news, so she left in the middle of the night and got out of that place to make sure she was safe.
-She goes to church every Sunday and she certainly does not believe in fighting in church, even when her sister is trying to cause a fight across her with her friend.
-She believes in ghosts and thinks my house may be haunted since there has been so many people who have moved in and out of it in the past couple of years (she has asked me to tell her if I see anything and what’s going on in there, as of this point I have no information for her).
Here are a few things I’ve learned from Maxine that have challenged me as I continue this walk:
-Prayer is powerful… but you have to be persistent and keep asking God for what you want (don’t give up talking to God), even if it takes 4 or 5 years, He is listening and He will answer you… it may not be the answer you want to hear but He will answer you so be patient but keep asking.
-God can do amazing things if we just trust in His plan and what He is doing.
-Sharing your faith isn’t as hard as we often make it out to be, sometimes a simple “God bless you” as you leave someone can tell them a huge amount of who you are and what you believe.
Prayer is powerful stuff. (Thanks for your prayers for this ministry, by the way!) And, as Ashley states, it IS excited to see what God has in store when you’re on the path He wants you. It’s a guarantee, it’s part of the promise!
Ministry and relationships and following Christ isn’t easy. He never said it would be. But by God’s grace, the Maxine’s in the world (and we all know one) need YOU to share His love, extend His grace, and give His hope!
Excited for you, Ashley, and for all: keep pressing on!