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Showing posts from 2010

Urban Farms Update

It continues to amaze Amber and I how the different pieces of this Urban Farms puzzle keep coming together. Nathan has really trusted God in this risky, oversized endeavor and it's fun to watch! He's gotten himself in over his head and those are exactly the places where God likes to show up and bring glory to His name.
Just to think: five months ago there was nothing on paper and now we are approaching the development of a full-scale agricultural development project for this neighborhood that will provide vital agricultural job training, local produce, a redemption of abandoned space, a connection to creation for urban dwellers, a reconnection to the land for some of our agrarian refugee neighbors, etc.
The city of Memphis is eager to support this work and Brewster elementary school is equally enthusiastic and has some great vision to provide a real world garden laboratory for their students. Presently, we are trying to gather input from our neighbors: current purchasing habits…

His Arms

Today I had the opportunity to escort a refugee mother and daughter to the clinic for their initial lab work visit. When a refugee arrives in America, they must first go to the doctor to have blood, urine and stool samples taken, a TB scan test and then a follow-up visit within 48-72 hours to have the TB test read and to receive a full physical.
Today wasn't an ordinary visit.
First, it was odd that it was only a mother and a daughter. We are accustomed to large families from this people group.
Second, the daughter was a paraplegic. When fleeing their homeland, she was shot and the wounds left her paralyzed from the waist down. Her widowed mother now takes care of her. They had a medical escort to the US, but they were greeted by a new home that is not handicapped accessible. As a Westerner this of course feels like a great injustice, and I hope that she and her mother will soon be transferred to more appropriate accommodations.
Because she is sedentary, she is also overweight, and it…

Re-engaging in Memphis

My posts have thinned out over the past couple months, as they often do toward the end of the year. But, it's a new year and I'm never above fresh starts. I would like to rekindle my efforts to scribble occasional updates about our life here in Memphis.
Amber and I returned to Memphis late Saturday evening after a nice, long holiday with our respective families in Illinois. We were thrilled to have such a lengthy visit with our families, but we were eager to return to our new home here in the mid-South (and we certainly didn't complain about the 30+ degree spike in the temperature).
We pulled in our driveway late and noticed that our next door neighbors, a Vietnamese couple that we had begun to build a very minor connection with (as much as possible without a shared language), had cleared out over the holidays. Only a few strands of Christmas lights and some potted plants remained. I was surprised at the emotions that rose in us as we lamented their exit from the neighborho…