On Saturday, September 4, we had our first Adopt-A-Block. There were five of us: Donnie, Lou Ann, Tim, Teri, and myself. We had a block: 1000 W Monroe. We had a plan (sort of). We had courage. We had tools. All we needed was willing participants.
We prayed and then drove to the block. Because of the parking situation, we had to park at the end of the block (which was good). But which house should we start at? And should we start at the end or in the middle? Well, as God would have it, He made it easy for us. There was a family about 3 houses down getting out of their car. So, we started with them. "Hello, we are here to serve you. We will be on your block for life. We would like to help you with anything you need done around the house. Do you have any yard work we can start with?" The first response was What? No. Wait. For free? Can you cut down my tree? (Of course we said we could not do that this week, but would look into it.) We asked about the vacant house next to his. He said we could clean up the weeds growing on the fence between the two yards. So that was our first task.
This task took 2.5 hours! There were weeds, trees growing in the fence, snakes, toys, did I mention snakes? Tim mowed the grass in the vacant yard. We had one neighbor, Jimmie, come down to ask if we were moving in. He told us that next time when we are on the block if we needed his riding mower, we could borrow it! And he said he did not need anything done right now, but was going in for surgery this next week (so I see some loving we can do for him).
Another neighbor, Monica, said she has a list of things we can help her with when we get to her. And we can borrow any tools we need while working on the block. Her neighbors, Charles (who is in a wheelchair) and June, said they would love for us to help them. There is one house that might be hard pressed to let us do anything. They are young adults who were having an alcohol party (beer, whiskey) when we were cleaning up the yard. So my prayer is that we can meet them where they are, not condem them, and build relationships with them. (I am not going to drink, but I will befriend them and see if I can help them just the same as the other people).
As I told the others who helped me last week, I do not expect anyone else to be committed to this block. I only ask them to help me when they can. But I COMMIT to this block every week. Some weeks I may have to change my days (due to doctor appointments out of state), but I will do something for people every week.
I have been praying for this block not knowing anything about the people or their situations. It is obvious that God had a reason for me to go there. Now I know just the beginning of why. I cannot wait to see what He brings on the 11th when I return.