Thursday, March 10, 2016

Refugees

My church, National Community, has a very unique opportunity to return to the Greek/Macedonian border (Idomeni) to serve alongside the A21 Campaign.

Since last year, almost 1 million refugees have passed through this particular border crossing. While they are waiting to cross, there is no food/water available. Many of them stand in line for days with nothing but what they have on their being. The line of people stretches farther than our eyes can see. Right now, over 14,000 people are stuck at this particular border.  

I've been given the opportunity to join a team of 10 people to help pass out supplies and meet the physical needs of those who are waiting to cross. 

We will leave Wednesday April 6th and return Thursday April 14th.

This seemed like an opportunity I couldn't pass on. I normally wouldn't make such a big decision so quickly but my work has graciously allowed me the time off on such short notice. This isn't one of those trips that we say "oh, I can go another time." The problem is now. The need is now. 

Psalm 82 says "Defend the weak and fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." 

Your prayers would be greatly appreciated. 

A few links with additional information about the location we'll be going to:




Friday, March 4, 2016

The one with the house that didn't exist

In December, my roommate of three years and I knew it was time to move out of our apartment. Rent kept going up and it didn't seem the best option to continue living there anymore.

We began the search and made plans to look for one and two bedroom places, knowing our time as roommates could be coming to a close as well.

We turned in our paperwork at the leasing office and had an official "you gotta be out" day on March 4th. Two months. That didn't seem like much time to find something.

I knew what kind of place I wanted. I also knew that sort of place didn't exist in DC, for the price I needed it to be.

We looked at several two bedroom places with significantly less space than our apartment currently had. One of them was so much of a hole, none of the closets had rods in them to hang clothes on....because they were so narrow a hanger wouldn't even FIT in it. Yeah. We found some holes.

I looked at several one bedrooms. One in particular was on the high end of my budget and didn't have a place for a dining table. And the living room had space for MAYBE my couch and TV. That was it.

After viewing these places, I began to pray. My prayers sounded something like this:

God. Not once have you ever left me without a home. Even after the fire. I'm not worried you'll do that now. When I graduated college, you provided. When my roommates were getting married, you provided the next place. When the next roommate was getting married, you provided a place. When the NEXT roommate got married, you provided a place. I'm not worried about you providing a place. But God. You know my heart and my passion is to make my home as inviting for people as possible. I don't see how I can make some of these places inviting. 

I wrote out a list of the things I wanted in a home. These were not 'must haves' but just the wish list. The "it would be really nice" list. After writing the list, I looked at it and said "God... this place does not exist in DC for the price I can afford. If it DID exist, it would be a miracle. Please prepare my heart to find a really tiny space and not be able to host."

January 30th, I attended a leadership event for National Community Church that was held in Lincoln Theater. I knew I had one month. One month to not only find a place- but to move as well. We sang Matt Redman's song "Never Once" and I bawled my eyes out. Not out of fear, but out of a place of complete confidence knowing God would come through. I didn't know what it would look like, and I didn't anticipate it being what I wanted, but I knew He would come through. He had to.

In February, I had the opportunity to go up to New Hampshire for a long weekend and wondered if I'd made a good decision. I would be home for less than 24 hours before getting on a plane to San Francisco for work. When you need to find a place to live, and make plan to move....Being out of town isn't the best plan.

I got back from New Hampshire late Monday night, February 8th. I went to work on the 9th and pulled up Craigslist and searched for homes to rent "posted today." A few popped up, one in particular that caught my eye. I emailed the guy and he responded back immediately saying he could meet me at the property that night. Knowing I had a 7am flight out the next morning, it was now or never. I got to the property went to check it out. As we walked up the steps, opened the door and stepped inside, my breath caught. I walked into a beautiful space that seemed too good to be true. I saw the living room, dining area, and the kitchen, and tried not to squeal. He showed me the bathrooms, the bedrooms, the washer and dryer, the balcony.....

As we walked back to the kitchen, I said to him "So. This place is amazing. Why the low price? What's the catch?" Immediately I felt the Lord respond to me and say "Minda. You asked for a miracle. Why are you questioning it now?" I teared up and the guy responded "Eh, the owner just feels like it shouldn't cost an arm and a leg to live in the district." Cue more tears. I said to him "This is my home. Please do not show this place to anyone else. This is the place I prayed for."

He smiled and said "I'm usually have a good read on people and I think you're right. I think you'll be the perfect tenant for this place."

That evening we got the paperwork rolling, made arrangements to get deposits sent to him, and then I headed off to San Francisco the next morning. All before my roommate had a chance to see it. She was really brave to let me make that decision on my own, and I'm so grateful.

We put a deposit down on a property that had every.single.thing. on my wish list. Every item. Even the one thing I'd written down and also said "this is dumb, but I'd really like it...even if not now. Someday."

We moved in last weekend thanks to the help of 15....yes, FIFTEEN friends who were so generous with their time and energy. This week has been a bit crazy attempting to get settled, but it's coming together. Already this week, I've hosted two different groups of people: #Framily, and my small group. The place, while still in progress, is the home I envisioned having in DC. Being able to make a home where people can come, be fully vulnerable, and fully themselves. I've found a home.

I am grateful. Overwhelmed, and grateful.
That exposed brick. Gosh. 

View from the kitchen and you can see part of the 21 FEET of counter top space



The one about Jaryn

The year was 2011. I needed a job and m y friend Grace was aware of this. I received a call from Grace and she said, “How do you fe...