“God sent you here.”
“God sent you here.”
He spoke it before a piece of furniture had been moved in, before we had a chance to get a feel for the neighborhood, before we had spent even one night in the place.
Danny had gone to the house to meet the inspector so that we could move in the next day and he got to talking to our new neighbor, Richard, a Haitian man who has been in the States for the past five years, and his son, a sweet 9 year old named Jamar who live in a one bedroom basement apartment of the house next door. Danny had gotten talking to him on why we had come to Atlanta and how the Gospel changes people and places and our hearts.
Richard proceeded to tell him in his beautiful Haitian accent, “God sent you here. I just recently realized I need to get my life right with God, and I can’t live without him. I need to start following him.”
They’ve had informal Bible studies together nearly every day since and Richard is hungry. And Jamar has already become like my sixth child.
And how would we have known which house to rent…the one with the hungry Haitian next door. And the boy whose mother died in the Haiti earthquakes who needed a second home in which to spent his summer days. (The boy’s already started calling me “Mom”)
We tried to find the diverse place to live, we tried to find a needy neighborhood on those trips last spring to line up a place to live here in Atlanta. But nothing seemed to come together. So I just started asking:
“Lord, send us to a Kingdom-strategic home. One where we can make the most impact for your Kingdom. ”
And He sent us to Richard and Jamar. And to Teekay, the Ethiopian man next door, and his daughter PhaPha. And to the Guatamalans and Mexicans and Koreans and Indians that all live on our street. And to the Global Mall less than three minutes away where I could buy a sari and Indian curry. And to the Arab, Latino and Asian grocery stores all within a five minutes drive. And to the Costco, where I, as a white woman, am in the extreme minority. And to the other English speaking stores in our neighborhood, where people who could have grown up in Newark shop. He sent us to the desire of my heart.
To the nations.
To the poor.
To the margins.
Who would have thought it, in the suburbs of Atlanta.