Thursday, December 30, 2010
Asking, Seeking, Knocking
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11
Chad and I have lived in Oklahoma now for almost three weeks. We have both enjoyed spending time with Chad’s mom and dad. The boys love having free reign over Grandma Jennifer’s farm. They have quickly learned the perimeters. Don’t go in the horse pen, no firearms in the house and leave your boots and hats at the back door. Ruby runs right along with them, but mostly she sits and looks at Grandma’s horse, Katrina. Chad and I seem to take turns encouraging one another depending on who needs it most. Still, in this bleak time God lets a little light shine through.
The time of year has off-set a lot of progress with job hunting. It seems like every time we get some momentum, a long weekend comes along leaving us to hold fast until Monday; then hope we haven’t been forgotten in the mean time.
We had a wonderful meeting with the director of church planting just before Christmas. After our meeting Chad and I decided to take the first step we could take and survey the surrounding areas to see where a church might be needed.
We started in the area of town he had directed us to. It was in a part of town we had considered middle class, but right on the other side of the highway is half a square mile of “Section 8” housing. It’s all apartment complexes. Rows, and rows, and rows of apartments. It’s pretty much an entire city of people.
I did some research on the Section 8 housing program in Oklahoma City. The residents of those apartments can receive rental assistance for five years if they are working or getting an education. They also provide family reunification services for families who are working to get their children back from CPS.
Chad and I drove a little farther into a neighborhood known as the Village. While we were driving around I asked Chad to drive to The Village Baptist Church. I wanted to show Chad the house we stayed in during the waiting period for Dad’s transplant.
Wandering through the surrounding neighborhoods, we came across a great big High School in the middle of a sea of small houses. The houses reminded me of the San Jacinto neighborhood in Amarillo but it is a much larger area.
We drove around the High School and noticed it is was abandoned. The facilities looked to be in pretty good shape. We could see the two athletic gyms, an auditorium and greenhouse from the outside. Sitting in the parking lot of this School we started daydreaming, or (mid-afternoon dreaming) about all the ways the John Marshall High school building could be used to reach the neighborhoods.
All the way home we talked about it and stayed up late researching the building. Who owns it? What kind of shape is it in? We came to one site that only made matters worse, because there were pictures of the inside. www.abandonedok.com/john-marshall-high-school/
Now we were really dreaming and way out ahead of ourselves.
I passed a church sign the other day and it said, “Know the strategies of the Devil”. One of the lies he has been telling me constantly is that we have nothing to offer anyone else, so we need to just take care of our own business and leave the ministry to someone else. I agree, we don’t look like much right now, but we are working to take care of our family. He wants to discourage us with this lie is so we will give up entirely. If we give up, we’ll never realize what God can do when we offer up to Him our obedience. There are souls in need of Salvation who need to be reached. Our Heavenly Father has called us to serve Him and He will be faithful to help us put the other pieces of life back together.
As we continued to read about this building and why it was closed we came across an article in The Daily Oklahoman from last summer. It had a list of school buildings auctioned off; among them was the John Marshall building. We read the name of the man and there was a quote from the pastor/rancher saying, “I want to use this building to help troubled kids and give people jobs.” I should mention the title before this mans name indicated he was a Christian pastor. Chad and I looked at each other. "Sounds like something we can help him accomplish!" Digging a little further we found the way to reach him and called the next day. This was right before Christmas.
Today Chad and I were particularly discouraged. Another long weekend is coming up. He is just now starting to get opportunities to drive for LTI, but is an on call driver for right now until he gets his “Class A” license next week. All the kids woke up this morning with fever and we had to take my car to get the transmission fixed (more thievery aftermath). We got alone and just prayed together.
All we can do right now is wait on God, but we’ve got to keep “asking, seeking and knocking.” “Try to call him one more time.” I suggested to Chad. I went into Walgreens to pick up some children’s Advil. I came back to the car and Chad had a smile on his face. “He wants to meet us and told me to send him our resumes.” He needs help! We had resumes at the ready, and prayed over them as we put them in the mailbox.
If you are reading this blog I’ll ask you to pray with us.
• Pray for God to make a way for us to serve Him and reach these neighborhoods. We can see His hand moving and are thankful for the hope!
• Pray for our house in Amarillo, Texas to sell.
• Pray for continued provision for our family.
• Pray that the boys have a good first week at school.
• Pray we will be able to put the pieces of our life back together.
Thank you for praying. I can’t wait to share more about what is happening!