Back in the fall, I started praying everyday for Persons of Peace in our neighborhood. I knew finding people was going to be difficult because I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and spent a lot of my time at home. One of the families that is part of our Missional Community asked if I could help walk her little boy home from the bus stop, it was right by our home and she knew I was free at 3:45p. I, of course, said, “Yes.” So, before I walked to the bus stop, I would stop at my back door and ask God to prepare me to talk to people.
The first week there was no one! All the parents would magically show up in their cars mind you, as the bus pulled up. I was discouraged. The next week, some parents walked but they stood across the street and still managed to come right when the bus got to the stop. I resorted to waving and smiling, this got me some funny looks. I was giving up on speaking with anyone at the bus stop, so I resorted to bringing treats to the little boy I was walking home and figured we could get to know one another better.
Finally, I walked out of the alley one evening, turned the corner and there was a woman standing right where the bus stop is. I got all giddy inside, “Woohoo!” I walked over and asked her if she was waiting on the school bus? She said, “Yep.” I said, “Me too! Hi, I’m Danielle! I help pick up my friend’s kid. I live right there in the yellow house; my husband and I just moved in back in January.” She said “Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Rebecca.”
After the greetings she asked why we moved down here to the ‘hood’. I explained that my husband and I felt called to help start a church in the neighborhood. She asked if we had a brochure she could read, I smiled and told her no, but we do have a website and a blog. I told her that we have church out of our friend’s house and we live life together just like Jesus did with the disciples. I invited her to come and see what I was talking about. She was interested and I was elated to finally talk to someone. I started to pray for her even before she had come to our MC. I knew it was not up to me to push her into coming. In the following months, I managed to meet her mom, her boyfriend, her sister, and her nieces she helps get off the bus. Our conversations were small talk most of the time about our baby, her family, her schooling, and I tried to fit God in the conversations but there was never enough time.
At MC one week, the mom that needed my help walking her little boy home said he had transferred schools and the new bus would be dropping him off right in front of her house. Fall was coming to an end and I was somewhat relieved. I had been by the bus stop a few times and hadn’t seen Rebecca and the girls. After a few more months had passed, I started to feel that praying for Rebecca was not doing anything. I had not seen her in the neighborhood and it was quickly becoming winter; our community does a good job of staying indoors when it is cold. So I told God, “Okay, I’m done. I will focus on praying for other things.” I’m hardly outside since I’m pregnant and I figured this would be a better use of my prayer time. The next day (seriously, not joking, the next day), my husband and I were stopping over at the house where we have MC. I stepped out of the car onto the sidewalk and heard someone call out my name. There was Rebecca and her sister with the girls just a block away. She greeted me with a hug and asked how the pregnancy was going. I was shocked; “clearly I’m not done praying for her,” I thought to myself. We didn’t talk long because it was getting dark and they were walking home in the cold. We stood there talking long enough for me to introduce my husband and point over to the house and say, “this is where we come for church, you’re all welcome to come Sundays at 4p.” I spent the rest of the winter praying for her and her family.
I spend a lot of time with Nate and Natalie, the MC leaders. One day I was over watching their boys while Natalie was working in the morning, I decided to stay all day since my husband and I were going to watch the boys in the evening to give them a date night. Once we got the boys down for nap, I passed out on their couch. Natalie later heard a knock at the front door and she started talking to someone and prayed with them. I was half asleep. Once she walked into the room, I asked her if she just prayed with the mailman. She said no, it was Rebecca. She was feeling like she has been being attacked spiritually and wanted prayer. Later on in the evening, Rebecca came back to the house; she wanted to pray again. So Natalie and I prayed for her again and she said she felt something leave her. She asked to hang around the house and talk, so we did. We exchanged cell numbers and she left for home. It was now March and we texted, talked, and hung out with her regularly. She was becoming part of the family. This month, she told Natalie and I on separate occasions she felt ready to be baptized. So, last Sunday we stood in a freezing cold kiddie pool and baptized Rebecca. Afterwards, we prayed in groups for one another and celebrated with cake! All the kids helped in letting the water out of the pool and we played in the huge, muddy puddle together. It was a wonderful day and I’m so happy I got to be a part of what God is doing!