Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

24 September 2012

Our biggest "Kindness Project" project... we rarely talk about

It's not sexy anymore.  It's tough to have a "rah rah" rally about it.  Our low rental housing project Freedom Gate Apartments has taken more time, work, effort and financial faith (right up to this very moment where  we take a big faith gulp about bills and hope AGAIN for a loaves and fish miracle during this weekend's golf tournament ) than anything else Freedom House has ever done.   By a LONG SHOT.  And for what?  15 affordable apartments for people to live in.

And it's been worth it.  Because as inglorious as it can seem... THIS matters.  I call it inglorious because it really is.  Owning an apartment building has created a PLETHORA of dynamics we didn't expect, left us as the resolver of issues we never thought even existed and has given our administrator nightmares!

And it's been worth it.  Even with the grants we received and the AMAZING partnership/friendship between a local businessman (without whom this project NEVER even gets off the ground), it's a financial LOAD to carry.  A biggun for a church. And it's not an option.  It's big and brown and ours still for this, and the foreseeable, season. Few people rally around housing.  It's 15 apartments... sitting there on Market Street.  OH boy eh?  But this, for us, was God's response to changing the culture of our street and the lives it housed.  And it's all been worth it.

We tried a church there.  It was big and blue and I have fond memories of our humble beginnings in it.  But the more folks we met trapped in destructive cycles of poverty, the more we realized that our call is to SERVE our fellow man. We were reminded of our need to intentionally and sacrificially meet physical needs AS WELL AS the spiritual needs.  The two go hand in hand.  And the people in our neighborhood needed a home that they could afford and where they could be safe and stable.  So we said YES.  And while there are only 15 family units using the space at a time...  just being there and representing a Church just up the street too... it's been a street-culture changer in it's own way.

One day, after many years of quietly operating this apartment (often living on financial faith if we're honest) it will turn a profit too.  And that money will go towards funding MORE Kindness Project outreaches while still accomplishing its goal.  But right now it's WORK work. Work few know about with fewer exciting stories than a play, a festival or a free BBQ.  We had also hoped to find a "Missionary" from our team to take it on as a project, to build genuine relationship with the tenants and use it as a palate to dream together with God's dreams about a unique living experience.   But that hasn't really happened.  It will though.   It's a terrific opportunity laying in wait.

 But it's all been worth it.  First... because it's been OBEDIENCE to God and obedience IS success.  And also because ordinary people and specifically the Church HAVE the ability to meet practical needs in Jesus name.  It takes work and faith and sacrifice and it's more often than not done in obscurity.  But who cares.

There are two rules to life.  Love God... Love Others.
Period.
Go hard.

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