This morning when I woke up I didn’t hear birds chirping, or grassing blowing, no I woke up to little boys bouncing a basketball and squealing (okay maybe yelling) at each other, but the reality is that’s my calm, that’s my birds chirping, that’s my peace. I was so excited, I jetted down the stairs and opened the door and asked them what they were doing and if they wanted to help me make a fruit salad. Of course they just wanted an excuse to see if I have a TV yet, so we can watch Cars, but they came and we made according to them, “the most delicious ever, Miss Colleen,” fruit salad. As I stood in my kitchen with these beautiful little boys, I couldn’t help but smile as they tossed the fruit I chopped into the big bowl and squeezed the lemon over it. I couldn’t help but think of these little boys who shove, hit and scream at each other on the street, hanging out with me, being polite and learning what it means to share and have manners.
You see when I moved into this house, I immediately begin to dream about what it would look like to live here, making cookies with the girls, playing Wii with the boys, having bible studies with the moms, already I have made cookies with the girls, made fruit salad with the boys and have invited some of my neighbors to join me for dinner on a few different occasions next week. Last night when I pulled up in front of my house, I heard, “hey guys Ms. Colleen’s home, come on,” and suddenly I was surrounded by kids, I came in and got a basketful of ice pops and we sat on my front steps talking, and sharing flavor-ice. About an hour later one of the grandmothers who lives a couple of doors down from me, came over and said, “When you pulled up tonight it was like the world stopped, you sure are loved here,” this meant so much to me, because really I didn’t want to be the white girl who moved into change the neighborhood, I want (ed) to be the new neighbor who moved into to love her neighbors and live life with them. And while ultimately I know that God has put me here for a greater purpose, being a neighbor who shares loves is just one of the ways I get to do this. I love the fact that when I leave at night “Big D” asks where I am going and when I will be back, and while at first I was a little put off by this, I realized it was because he wanted to make sure I got home safely at night, and when I come home after dark “Big D” is sitting on his step waiting to make sure I am safe, while he’s quiet and doesn’t interact much he’s made it perfectly clear to me that he’s looking out for me. I feel so loved and respected within my community. I love that I can have conversations with my neighbors about prayer, I love that the kids want to know where I am going and when I will be back, I love that Pee-wee asks me why he can’t see Jesus!
Over the past week my friends from Stough Baptist Church in North Carolina, were visiting Baltimore for their annual youth missions trip, we did a lot of things, but the one thing that means the most to me is that they worked so hard to help my house become MY home, they cleaned, they blessed me by fulfilling some of the wishes on my wish list and they finished some of the projects that were on the list. I have been so blessed this summer with people from all over the country who’ve come to Baltimore to be a part of my journey. Another amazing thing that we did last week was run a camp called Art Explosion, at the end of the week we had planned to have an art auction, the idea was that the kids would chose a charity that we would give some of the money back too, so they would know what it means to give back. It came down to pets and homeless people, the kids chose last week to support the homeless in Baltimore and they will be giving a lot of the money they raised back to the Helping up Mission here in Baltimore. The other part of the money will be used to do something special for the kids the last week of camp, these kids have been faithful in coming to camp every week and I want to do something fun with them. Thanks to all of our friends who came out and supported our auction we were able to raise over $500. When I told the kids this they were so excited, and I am so proud of them for their hard work last week.
I have a few prayer requests to share with you:
I am praying for Pee-Wee, I have fallen in love with this little 5 year old from day one when he told me I was his new best friend, this past week he has been asking a lot of serious questions about Jesus, and why we can’t see Him, I have been praying and asking God to give me the right answers to say to him, but I also praying that he can see Jesus through the people God is placing here to serve and love.
We have two more camps this summer, I am so excited about them, I am praying God is glorified in everything we do here and that these last two camps are nothing but honoring to
Thanks for taking this journey with me through your prayers and support!