Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Community.

Last night, after attending an event at the kids' school, I ran to the grocery store (and if that's not an introduction hefty with literary muscle, I don't know what is). Apparently, my coffee habit comes with a side of half-and-half habit and we were clean out.

We were also out of dish soap, Milk Duds, and Flamin' Hot Cheetos Puffs for Darius. Priorities, people.

Five years ago, I would have never in one gajillion years run to the grocery store at 10:15 p.m. in this neighborhood. You know, because it's full of hustlers, dealers, addicts, homeless, and all the other scary people that hang out at the Fiesta after dark. That's what I used to think.

Having this in mind, I smiled as I walked in the door. I immediately recognized the manager - he always works the night shift, the man who works out every morning at the Y, the bagger who graduated from Pinkston last year and is trying to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, the mom with her boys picking up cereal for the morning, and the security guard who shoots the bull with the checkers while they're trying to do their jobs.

It amazed me how just knowing my neighbors has changed the way I feel about going out at night. The neighborhood that used to scare the fire out of me has become our community because we've been a part of it day in and day out.

Sure, I'm still careful; I would be anywhere. But I really do understand how important incarnational ministry is after having done it for a while now. This is not just some 'hood full of people I hardly know. I see the same man walking his baby to day care every day when I drop the boys off at school. My dry cleaner knows my kids and what kind of candy they like when we pick up our laundry. The iced tea at Henderson's BBQ was the best in town before it shut down, and I've told you before about the taco stand. Muy fabulouso.

And in living life alongside others, we attempt to be salt and light, to point to a hope beyond what can be seen, and to learn to walk together through the now and not yet of the Kingdom of God.

Tomorrow night will be the very first meeting of Mercy Street Fellowship Church. We are incredibly prayerful that He will call a group together in our community - to be the body of Christ to one another and to worship He alone who is worthy.

Please join us in prayer for the church, for Trey who's eyes light up whenever he talks about it, and for tomorrow our first official gathering.

We're serving dinner before bible study so please also pray for the food - if it sucks, we're toast.

:)

17 comments:

emily said...

If you are cooking, you guys are golden. We will be prayerful about the meeting and what time should I drop off the gerbils???

Wendy, Totally Desperate Mom said...

I am a friend of Kerry (Kunkel) Anderson's. She directed me to your blog. Lovin' your ministry. Caring about the things and people God cares about. SO awesome.

Angela said...

I just love reading about your ministry!! Thank you very much for living your life in a way that inspires others--like me!!

God Bless,
Angela

Angela said...

sorry adding on to my comment...you'll have to swing by my blog and check out my new "baby"...so unexpected...yet SOOO God!!

Angela (again)

pcb said...

You are doing work blessed by God and I know the gathering will be awesome.

Jill said...

Melissa, you had me at puffy hot cheetos...did you know they come in jumbo size puff balls too? Crazy. They do not fit in one's mouth. Of course, I will count it an honor to pray for your church. Most of central florida has now heard about "that family in Dallas, west Dallas, that went to the mission field in their town, I can't help it, I love it...You are Jesus in the flesh.

happygeek said...

Congratulations on starting the fellowship church.
I do pray that God will raise up a community of believers to minister to the community where you live.

Traci@TotalMomsense said...

He'll come through for you all- who knows what that will look like, but He'll come through.

Jess said...

Well I was not asked to help cook, so it can't suck :) I am so excited to hear about your first worship service! Will you take some pics? Can I visit your church sometime? I think that's AWESOME. :) Praying everything is so much more than you imagined.

Caroline said...

thank you for teaching me, friend. so excited about the church. praying for tonight, and for you guys. Can't wait to hear about it!

These Three Kings said...

YES!!!! YES LORD!!! GIRL...THIS POST HAS ME SHOUTING!!! THis is what the gospel is about!!!
AMAZING!! we are all the same at the foot of the cross! Praying for the church!!
and I feel you on those late night store trips.. I do the same


what a encouragement you are!

Susan said...

The food will be great and the night will bring glory! I get you on the half and half...coffee isn't worth drinking without it!

hannahgarippa said...

I love you my sister...and I'm so thankful to be in this community with you.

Holli said...

wow! so exciting! PRAYING for YOUR community and Gods community to GROW!

hannahgarippa said...

By the way...I always have half and half...i mean always, so if you are ever in need call me.

Kelley and Robin said...

I love flaming hot cheetos!!!! BTW this is annie

Jess said...

That's awesome! I'll be praying tomorrow.

I love your description of how your vision has changed. I have a similar story of seeing kids differently at a high school where I did Young Life. I was working with kids who looked like men who killed one of my friends. God opened my eyes and erased my fears. Incarnational Ministry is where Jesus is at!