This post has been a long time in coming, but I just haven't gotten around to it.
For the past 6 months or so, Jonathan and I have been praying about how we can further the kingdom of God through community and the fellowship of believers. One of our favorite inspirations in this area is Shane Claiborne. Shane was one of the founders of an "intentional community" in the inner city of Philadelphia. They have a group of people (married and single) living in the same house and making efforts to serve the community they live in.
We spent quite a few months dialoging about this idea with friends and really searching the scriptures. Mostly, we just waited for God to show us what He wanted for us.
A couple of months later, when praying about how we can support Kylene in her ministry, the Lord led us to invite her to live with us. She moved in with us in the beginning of September and it's been a joy to share life with her again. She works for Jonathan at the coffee shop and is preparing to run a mission school in the Philippines. A month or so after that, Mandi and Daveo shared with us that they felt the Lord was leading them to move to Atlanta in the next year or so. Well, through a number of things that happened, they felt released to come to Atlanta much sooner than originally planned. During this time, we also felt led to invite them to move in with us as well.
So, the day we got back from Turkey, the 5 of us moved into a 3br apartment together.
Our desire isn't just to be roommates or lighten each others rent cost. It's to be a community that pursues the kingdom of God together. We want to support one another in the places where the Lord has called us. Daveo and Mandi have a heart to reach out to college students, Kylene feels led to the arts community in the states, and Jonathan and I are pursuing moving back overseas within the next year or two.
Our community is only a couple of weeks old but so far it's been great. We're comfortable together and doing our best to encourage one another. We have family dinners a few times a week and a family gathering every Sunday night where we sing, pray, share, etc.
We know it's not all going to be easy. We know we're going to have to work through difficulties and make sacrifices and we already have. But, we are also trusting that God will be glorified through our community and the good will outweigh the difficulties.
We rejoice in this gift God has given us. Amen, Come Lord Jesus!