Sunday, December 28, 2014

Today in Church...

we found out that our greater neighborhood (a mile around Shepherd) is the third most violent in the city! There are at least 15,000 people in this small area.

It's great when some of the bigger churches from the burbs come in and help out (Shepherd COUNTS on these AMAZING volunteers!)  BUT what helps most is when people move in, develop relationships with their neighbors, and face what they're facing.

If you want to see this lived out, come visit.  Thanks to fantastic, Christian neighbors that intentionally moved into a struggling neighborhood,  our block is a green square in the midst of orange and red on the crime map.  It works!  We don't need more police, we need more Christians willing to move in and get their hands dirty.

I've had lots of people ask, "Do you feel safe?"  I can honestly say that I have never felt like I was in any kind of danger.  I know God planted us here for a reason and HE will keep us safe.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hard Things

Sorry for being MIA so long!

We discovered tonight that Mitike has not been taking her medicine--she "does not like it and doesn't have to take it."  I'm sure this is pretty common (one of my students has to be watched very closely too!)  I just feel a lot of frustration--we've been back in the States for a year and a half and have seen no progress.  Matt and I are both at a loss of what to do.

Then I read this :

Equipped for Hard Things

by Joyce Meyer - posted December 27, 2014

For this commandment which I command you this day is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off. 
—Deuteronomy 30:11
"This is too hard" is one of the excuses we hear most frequently. But we are equipped by God's Spirit to handle hard things. We are anointed to press through and see victory. The next time you are tempted to say something is too hard, look at Deuteronomy 30:11, which says, "It is not too difficult!"
Anything God leads you to do, you can do. God never leads you to do something unless He gives you the power and the ability to do it. Prepare yourself for right action with power thoughts. Think, I don't know how I'm going to do it, I don't feel like I can do it, but God is leading me to do it. And I believe if He is leading me to do it, then I can. Because I believe I can do whatever I need to do through the power of God that resides in me.
Power Thought: Nothing God asks of me is too difficult.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Tonight I was grading my student's journals.  One entry said, "Dear Santa, could you please bring me my sister?  I would like to see her again.  If not, could you bring me a toy?"

It breaks my heart to see parents forced to live apart from their children.  Siblings growing up not knowing or even seeing one another.  (If illegal immigrants go "home" to visit, they will be denied reentry.)

There is no easy solution.  Pray that God gives our government wisdom and my student a chance to get to know his sister.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shepherd's Christmas Store

Shepherd's Christmas Store is coming up in just a couple of weeks. The store serves families in our neighborhood by providing a gift for their child along with some needs (shoes, hats, gloves, etc).  There is even a group of volunteers that just wrap presents and interact with the families as they do.  Call to volunteer or donate items for the store.  (I'll be working all day on Sunday the 21st--come by and see me!)

Christmas Store – Gift Needs
New, unwrapped, age-appropriate gifts can be dropped off at any area KeyBank location or brought to our East Washington location at 4107 E. Washington by FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013.
For All Ages
  • Toys (no weapons or violent toys)
  • Books
  • Board Games
  • Socks – boy/girl (all sizes)
  • Packages of underwear – boy/girl (all sizes)
  • Hats, scarves and gloves (all sizes)

  • Ages 13+

    • Mp3’s
    • Weight sets
    • Gift Cards
    • Sports jerseys & Team memorabilia
    • Sports equipment
    • Remote controlled cars
    • Jewelry or Make-up Kits
    • Bath and Body Works
    • Flat Irons
    • Cameras
    • Room/Dorm D├ęcor
    • Pocket Video Games
    • Men’s/Women’s Wallets
    • Handbags
    • Headphones
    • Ipod speakers/docking stations

A Great Place To Work... Shepherd

Last night I took my car to get the right front tire fixed.  The man took it off and couldn't find anything wrong with it.  This morning I went out and the right rear tire was FLAT.  The sensors were switched!!  So, Matt aired it up real good and I went to work.  My administrator asked around for someone willing to take it and two young guys volunteered.  Unfortunately, neither could drive a stick, so a third guy joined them!  What a blessing to have a "family" at work that is willing to help out.

Please Pray For My Class!

My class starts class everyday with prayer requests.  These kids carry such burdens.  As their parents struggle to provide, my students struggle to help and/or cover for their parents.  One of my students was just in a serious car accident and another had an emergency appendectomy coupled with a very bad infection.

Pray with us.  As these kids see answers, pray that they come to know Him who provides.

It's Been A While!

Hi all,  a lot has been happening in our lives.  Most of it has been extremely challenging.  But we have had some "fun" moments.
Ana got an impromptu knitting lesson from Great Grandma.
 Our basset continues to astound me with her ability to be sound asleep one moment and deep into trouble the next!
 I have two elves from my childhood.  Following the current elf on the shelf craze, ours have been getting into a little trouble.
 And is convinced that they are really alive and love sneaking around.  She even found them looking into Grandpa's Christmas present! (On a side note--we were talking about traditions in my third grade class and most of them thought the elves were alive too!)
Ana lost some more teeth and is set to lose FIVE more in the near future! She is definitely singing "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth."