Southern Comfort

We really cannot explain in words all that we experienced in Charlotte.  It was an incredible time of learning, being poured into and then pouring out on so many.

Over a month ago, Charlotte wasn’t even on our radar- we didn’t have any connections or contacts there, then…poof!  My mom met Marilynn Chadwick on a plane to Kigali, Rwanda…..long story short, we find out that Marilynn is the pastor’s wife of Forest Hill and she invited us to come to Charlotte.  Little did she know that we would actually pursue this! 🙂

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Marilynn ended up doing all of the grunt work for us and called about 50 billion people to get us hooked up with anyone we wanted to meet.  Loved it.  All we had to do was come and meet these people!  Marilynn, you are amazing!!!!

We were treated like royalty with a van, a beautiful condo to rest in, gifts for our children, people coming to check on us all the time, tickets to “Annie” the play for our family, welcomed our kids to join their Playschool and so much more.  We felt overwhelmed, to say the least, but very welcomed.

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Honestly, I haven’t figured out this culture down here, it is very different than the NW.  The Lord had impressed me to go to David and Marilynn for a little more solid understanding of southern community before we wrote about it.  I’m glad we did- lack of understanding can lead to poorly made assumptions.  Marilynn jokingly referred to Charlotte as the “buckle” in the Bible Belt.  I never really understood what the Bible Belt was but can now say that I have a little more understanding.  It is an old culture of church-going folks, lots of money, serious history with racism and prejudice (still working that out), big steeple churches, and a very “proper” way of living.  Hard to explain and there is more to it than that.  The south is rich in history and sometimes it is hard for people and especially the Church to find a true identity through that.

Forest Hill Church is another part of the Church that has been through a lot of hard changes so that they can get to the path of Jesus.  We were refreshed to see some of the steps they have taken to shepherd their very large church body to take some very large steps of faith.  Life groups at Forest Hill have taken on their own life forms and do a phenomenal amount of service work together outside the church.  This has created a very fresh way of life there with God’s people coming out of the woodwork and finding their passions in the Kingdom.

We are once again, honored to be a part of life with all of you in Charlotte, NC!!!!  Thank you for all that you did to welcome us into your family.  Keep following the face of Jesus in everyone you see, serve, and relate with.  This is how the Kingdom of God will grow, one person at a time.

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

Both quotes by Mother Teresa

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