Over the last 6 months we have met hundreds of people and started a number of deeper relationships with individuals and families. Most of these people have been neighbors of ours in our apartment community.
Its an older apartment nestled into Southeast Austin. The lower end housing options, high homeless population and high crime rate of SE Austin is enough to keep some people away. (One of my old buddies came to visit one night and expressed his nervousness about being in our neighborhood.) Still we were committed to making this home through at least 2016.
Our apartment had its fair share of issues that the management ignored time after time that we requested for things to be repaired. It was a bit annoying, but you learn to live with it.
We grew to love our neighbors and all of their quirks just as they grew to love us and ours.
A little over a month ago we discovered a significant mold issue in one of our closets. As we started prying around a bit, we discovered that the mold issue was actually a massive ordeal. We hired a specialist who (after running lab results) told us that the place would need to be evacuated, gutted, treated and rebuilt in order to be a suitable place to live. (So that’s why I’ve been having chronic headaches since we moved in!)
We had heard a number of our neighbors tell us about their mold issues, as well as the previous CARES Team. So it appeared that many of the apartments in our community were infected.
After trying to work with the management, it became clear that we needed to move to a new property.
We are incredibly tender to be leaving behind our neighbors. Neighbors we planned to build a garden with, neighbors who volunteered to cook for our events, neighbors who had us into their homes, neighbors who we had in ours, neighbors who we cried with, and neighbors we shared joy with.
But at the end of the day, it was clear that we had to make a decision that was best for the health of our family and our baby girl on the way.
In the meantime, we have been living with some amazing friends who have been hosting us during this transition.
It appears that tomorrow is finally moving day. We are going to be moving into a place that couldn’t be more different than our old place.
Most of you know we are working as a CARES Team with Apartment Life. So our options are limited to what they had available. We essentially only had one choice that wasn’t 45 minutes outside of town.
So we interviewed, were hired and will be moving into an apartment in Northwest Austin in an area called “The Domain.”
Its a very nice, new “master plan” community with high end apartments and luxury shopping and dining experiences within walking distance.
To some, that sounds 100% fantastic. And I’d be lying to say there aren’t some exciting perks about this. However, there is a tough side to this. We will be working to build community and share the Good News with a group of people with a lot of disposable income. Jesus said, “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God.”
So we have our work cut out for us as we figure out the physics of squeezing 900lbs of camel through a tiny hole.
We are trusting that this is what Jesus is up to right now, as this was our only option. It is His mission, not ours. He is the one who brings salvation to the lost. And he is the one through whom all things are possible.
In Him, putting a camel through the eye of a needle as as easy as turning water into wine.
Please pray for us in this transition that we are able to have great relational favor with our new neighbors. That we are able to foster the same kind of honesty and vulnerability we fostered at our old apartment. And also, pray that our friends at the old apartment find the Source of life without us walking beside them.