I know today is Thursday and traditionally I do "Thursday Thanks Tank". I'm taking a break this week to continue my story... (but I'm still thankful!!)
Our church had talked for a couple of years about feeling led by God to plant a church to inner-city Knoxville. Initially, I felt no desire to go and be apart. I was leading the women’s ministry and we were both so involved in church, I couldn’t imagine leaving! Papa began feeling a pull to help plant the church, but didn’t say anything at first. When I mentioned it, he just smiled.
It was a long process within to get me from “ain’t no way” to “I can’t wait”! God CAN work miracles. All of our church family knew that we felt called to move and live in the inner-city community, building relationships and ministering to our neighbors before the new church was planted. And so, this we did!
We found a house in MUCH need of some work – smack dab in the middle of an inner-city neighborhood. With a lot of help from friends, we cleaned up the house, gutted it, re-modeled it, and moved in. I remember our first night here – boxes EVERYWHERE, only the children’s beds set up (ours a mattress in the floor). Papa went for the last trip with a friend while I got the children in the bed. I hung blinds to cover the windows, feeling like everyone on the street could see me (they could!). It was so loud! I remember the boxes rattling together as cars passed on the street (from the bass booming!). I heard the sirens, as the fire department, police and ambulance responded to a call at a house just across the street!
I remember praying and asking God for His protection over us, fearing the worst, but trusting in the Only One Who Could Be Trusted.