There's been a lot going on around here. A lot.
We are still working on those townhouses that our church has been renovating. They should be done in the next week or two. Yay! It is fantastic to see what we started with and where we have taken them from there.
And a little of the fun in between...
This picture is particularly funny to me. These townhouses used to be the place the police in our city were called to. This was it. A great percentage of all calls to the police were to this bay. It was home to drug dealers, prostitutes, gang members. The elite (shall we say) of the bad were here. As we were tearing down, cleaning up, clearing out and re-building we would have people stop in the back alley and bang on the doors (or the holes cut in the walls) to get their next fix. People would walk up to the front door saying "Heh, buddy, you got any (insert drug of choice here). So, although the situation that resulted in this sign is NOT funny; one of our team putting this on the door reminding us of those times is funny.
This was the most feared place in our town. This was the darkest and meanest of areas and people feared for their safety. I think it is the fact that they are coming up to us, telling us that they are no longer afraid to walk in their back alleys or park their car or send their child to the store for milk that makes this funny to me. That it has changed that much!
A few years ago, I came with friends of mine to bring roses to the ladies that lived in and around Manville, to show them love. Rush cried hours upon hours before we left because she was certain I was not going to come back alive.
The atmosphere in that place, since that first time I was there taking flowers to broken women lost in what seemed like hopeless situations to them, has changed to the point where it is unrecognizable. That darkness is gone; the heaviness destroyed. The peering out of windows with suspicion each time a car door shut has been replaced with the laughter of children playing in the park in the center of the bay and families gathering for neighborhood barbeques!
I find that funny. Funny in a "woohoo!" kind of way and we give God ALL the credit. We didn't even have the money to begin this project when it first came about (let alone the money to finish it). God provided for us all that we needed. He is a great and merciful god!