“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
Lamentations 3: 24-25
For five and one-half years, my two youngest sons and I have done volunteer work in an inner city ministry’s after school program. We mostly help feed, tutor, and mentor around twenty kindergarten through fifth graders. Our time with them once weekly often involves a Bible time and recreation and/or games.
My time in the ministry has also included a Mommy and Me group I facilitated my first year and a preschool class one to three days per week during the 2014-15 school year.
Several of the moms from the class are still part of my life; we discuss issues in their lives over meals together; I babysit their children at times. One of my babies from four years ago has become my “adopted” grandson. Our family regularly takes him to church and we babysit him at other times so his single mom can have a few hours free.
Already having a few rental properties, my husband and I decided just over two years ago to purchase a property in the mostly low income neighborhood surrounding the little blue Hope house where our volunteer work is based. Neglectful landlords are a major issue in the inner city.
We now own a 101 year old duplex. Neglected and abused for years by landlords and tenants, the house needed months of rehabilitation. We did a lot of DIY.
While finishing the first side of the duplex preparing to rent it, I began to fall in love with the house, the neighborhood. I already have so many souls I love there. I began to dream about how loving our neighbors could become a daily ministry for our family. My husband has mostly caught the vision; but our two teenage sons are reluctant. I failed to mention that we have been home schooling since they were in the fourth and sixth grades. The oldest graduated last spring and the youngest is a junior.
For now, I am following the advice of friends and mentors to wait: wait for my sons to feel comfortable with our moving; wait until my husband is 100% sure he is ready for this commitment. Wait until our Father shows us that NOW is the time (whenever that may be.)
So my One Thing Right Now is several things; I am learning to ALWAYS put my own family first, loving and nurturing them in the time I have left with the two youngest at home I continue to love on those children and minister to their moms when opportunities arise. I attempt to shine LIGHT into the lives of our inner city renters. And I am waiting on my Father for direction in our next steps.