My husband and I moved to New Orleans a few months ago completely in faith steps. He travels a lot for work and there was an opportunity for him to be on a project that was estimated to last 4 months. Relying totally on prayer and faith, the decision was made to move to New Orleans and be locals. I gave notice at work. We walked away from a security deposit on a pretty amazing apartment. We packed up a Pod, said goodbye to New England, and signed a 6 month lease in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans.
This was new for me, being obedient to a calling. I knew that there was something big here for us. I just knew that I was going to hit the ground running fighting sex trafficking or advocating for survivors or community outreach… something! There was so much momentum and fire. Then God pressed pause.
Jason works over nights and gets to accompany mostly police and swat, and sometimes EMS or Fire on their night-shift. Each night he comes home with a new story. Another stolen gun from a teen’s hand. Bullets indiscriminately being fired in neighborhoods. Missing fathers and role models. His heart became very heavy, then angry. “In a day where we’re so quick post our words and opinions and attack other people’s words and opinions here’s a post to encourage you to not talk, write or post but to DO. What are YOU doing to help the problems that you’re sharing or complaining about? I’m not looking to start an argument or even have a conversation, this is just an encouragement to DO.” God set in on his heart. Jason wanted to plan a community event to reach out to these kids and introduce them to Jesus… but how?
Meanwhile, I’m still journeying through my Bible plan and the timing has me in Exodus. “Oh good,” I think, “I’ve read this one already so it won’t take me long.” Yeah, right. I wasn’t just reading Exodus, God was going to use His Word to speak to us.
The first piece that hit me was Exodus 4:10-16. I didn’t remember that Moses was “slow of speech and tongue” and nervous about speaking for God. So God sent him a helper, Moses’s brother Aaron. Together they would be used to talk to the Pharaoh. This started to sound very familiar. Jason struggles with public speaking like most people, but he’s extremely thoughtful and deliberate in delivering a message. He was the youngest of four active brothers very close in age. I imagine Jason as the quiet one. He is an excellent listener, though. He remembers every detail but takes his time to tell you. There are times I jump in to get his thought out on the table. I kept reading. When I got through the plagues, I was busting at the seems to tell Jason. “GOD TAKES HIS TIME! NOTHING IS HAPPENING FOR US RIGHT NOW BECAUSE GOD IS BUILDING SUSPENSE TO SHOW JUST HOW BIG HE IS!!” Now, how do we do this…?
For the resource they had was sufficient to do all the work, AND MORE. Exodus 36:7
Our Sunday evening church service at Vintage Church was moved to 9:00 am for the month of August with new series, More. This is a challenge for us because of the hours we keep. Unexpectedly, Jason was released from work at 6:30 pm Saturday evening (instead of working until the early a.m. hours like usual). And guess which book the More series is in… Exodus. Some people call all of this a coincidence, I call it “a God thing.”
This week’s sermon was entitled “More than we can handle” and dug into Exodus 36:1-7. In a crowd of all those people, it felt like we were being directly spoken to. Pastor Rob highlighted these main points: 1. The Lord spoke (put a calling on their heart), 2. Leadership united, 3. People responded, 4.People kept responding, and 5. Mission was accomplished.
Back to Jason’s heart. God has called him to DO. He connected with leaders of Urban Reach, the Church, and our Community Group. People are asking to provide financial support, volunteer their time, and join us. We have reserved Christian rap-artists, music & sound, a bouncy house, a snow ball vendor, and some other fun activities are being planned. We are going to provide free water and Popsicles. The park is excited and we are just waiting on final confirmation and approval before I go and apply for various city permits. The goal is to hold the family friendly faith inspired event August 29th, the tenth anniversary of Katrina. The biggest goal is to glorify God by bringing Jesus to the community.
Please pray for us!
Dear God, Wow! Thank you for all your provisions! Thank you for loving us! Thank you for moving in our hearts! We will do anything, ANYTHING! I pray for spiritual protection and strength for Jason, the church and community leaders. I pray that more will be provided so that we can boldly serve your mission. I ask these things in Jesus’s name. Amen.