Skip to content

Your Mission: Serve Where You Are Planted Part 2


“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake,
to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.

When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.
 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:16-20ESV)

From the first week I was planted in the home The Father provided in October 2022, I have witnessed things that would make most people shudder. I guess because of past experience and living where I have, my understanding was that He put me here with purpose. One would not think that a small cheery city, in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains of NE Tennessee, would contain so much darkness. Well, SURPRISE! I’ll burst your bubble of naivety now: it’s worse than you could imagine. From the first encounter I had with darkness, on the street in front of my house, I knew what Abba was telling me…Your Mission: Serve where you are planted.

Y’all know I have wanderlust if you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time. Maybe not true wanderlust but I enjoy being alone in the mountains or on a hike. Trust me when I tell you, I’ve come to believe The Father has purposely kept me close to home as I’ve been walking through hard health issues since November of 2022. However, what I have perceived in the spiritual, and what is going on literally in my front yard and a block from my home, is why. Mind you, I had not spent any time in this town prior to moving here but I have spent time in Appalachia proper over the past 6 years, and what I experienced there was not surprising to find here too.

Be present

Week one…I was setting up my desk in a front room of the house, in front of the window. While doing so, in my peripheral vision I saw a woman standing in front of my house, squatting down to the road, picking things up and putting them in her mouth. This alarmed me for one big reason: the city had literally just dug up the sewer pipes and fixed them that week, and there was all sorts of nasty stuff on the ground.

I said, “Oh noo…” and ran to my kitchen, grabbled some food, then out the front door. She was gone. I looked around and spotted her down the street. My neighbor was out and as I walked down my sidewalk I asked him if she was “okay” and he said, ‘no, I don’t think so’. I called to her and asked if she was hungry, to which she nodded yes. I held the food out to her. She pointed to herself and I said, would you like some food? She nodded and walked toward me. I handed her the food and she asked if I was moving out (there were empty boxes on the front porch; I quickly understood she was looking for a place to squat), to which I said no, I just moved in. She took the food, said ‘thank you’ and walked away. I am not certain if she was high (she wouldn’t really look me in the eyes) or schizophrenic. I know that extended meth use causes that disease so it could have been both. No matter, I just didn’t want her dying from eating stuff covered in raw sewage!

Granted, my new neighbor witnessed this act and I thought nothing of it since it’s honestly something very innate. As I walked back to my front door he said, “That was really nice of you.” I really didn’t know what to say other than I cannot handle seeing people hungry.

“And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.
You received without paying; give without pay.
Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey,
or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. (Matt 10:7-10 ESV)


Be prayerful

Soon enough, I realized another neighbor (across the street and down a house) has deep rooted addiction and anger issues. When I moved in he was pretty unruly, constantly yelled at the woman who lived with him and drinking openly all day (he sits outside with a 40 oz beer at 9:00 AM). Trust that the prayers began going up quickly for them. He was so mean to her and while she was also pretty inebriated most of the time, she was not hostile. It came down to my also praying that she would find her worth and leave. Then, at Thanksgiving, my mom was here for nine days. On the day she was leaving I took the pup for a walk; upon returning she was visibly upset. She explained how the man across the street was dragging a woman down the road, and she was naked. But, just as my mom was going to call 911 the woman walked out of the house (dressed) and away from the house. To make a long story short…that prayer for her to leave was answered that day. It took her another time or two to stay gone for good, but praise Yeshua/Jesus that happened.

The man actually stopped drinking for a little while as well. I soon realized he was going to church on Sundays, and he literally told me on day that he loves the Lord. So, I keep praying for his complete transformation. (He began drinking again and now a new woman lives there, but she stands up to him.) I have a sad but funny story about a recent interaction where they were sitting on the porch, arguing about who was more “Holy Spirit-filled”…yet both were very puffed-up, and neither were giving God any glory for saving them, etc. It went on for a while. Myself, my next door neighbor and a friend of his, were on our front porches (the houses are close together) and, honestly, I got tired of their blasphemy. I cupped my hands to my mouth and yelled, “The Holy Spirit does not act that way!” They got quiet for a couple of minutes and the subject was changed, thank goodness!

I believe this man has come through some very rough times and he does love the Lord, yet, has blocks to moving forward in his understanding of the Word and what The Father desires for his life to resemble. I believe his intention is to help people but instead endangers them. So, until (or if) I am moved to speak directly into his life, I’ll continue praying for him.

Be obedient

My direct next-door neighbor is a 60 year old man who has never known the Lord. He has a lot of health issues and, at first, I thought he was simply another stuck in life addict. But this is not the case. He is stuck yes, and yeah he drinks a lot of beer, however I’ve had many long conversations with him so now understand a little better where he is. Most of his health issues came after a knee surgery went very badly and morphed into more. He has other major issues as well. But what I know is he does not understand his life has worth, that despite his situation there is a purpose for his existence. He cannot walk very well or far, and feels his life has been stolen. He’s a bit bitter. And, I know that I know he has watched me closely, understanding the pain and issues I’ve been having…yet, I make myself walk – even if it’s just to the back yard. I move. I do not grumble much, rather I praise God for hearing my prayers and giving me the strength to get through each day, and share this with him as often as I can.

A couple of months ago, this neighbor’s nephew knocked on my door and asked to play with my pup. He’d had a dog similar to C that he had to put down a year ago. This led to him, out of the blue, sharing his testimony of faith with me…one where God saved him from an overdose death and immediately opened this young man’s eyes to His truth, love and mercy. We talked about his uncle and I mentioned I pray for him all the time. He thanked me and told me he had just brought his uncle a Bible! Hallelujah. Except, unfortunately,  his uncle has little comprehensive ability these days (and a very bad memory)…but the Bible is in his house nonetheless.

Over the past several weeks it was put on my heart to share with this neighbor how God loves him and that his life does have worth and purpose. He was all ears. He thanked me profusely after we chatted. I asked him to listen with his heart and not his mind so he could remember what I said…so far he does. A couple of days ago, I was moved to ask him to read Psalm 139. Before I could finish my sentence, he went inside abruptly. I thought, “Oh no…he’s offended!” But, lo and behold, he went quickly reappeared with the Bible. Unfortunately, it is only a New Testament so I am going to print it out for him soon.

Be open

There are much (much) darker things happening around me. Things that aren’t for the faith of heart or faith. It is all about hearts growing cold and the days being evil. I certainly hope the days are now being shortened as well.

A week or so ago, there was a man stopped in front of my house, tweaking out. He was carrying a ton of clothing and dropping things all over the sidewalk. My dog was going berserk. I was really not in the mood to deal with this, or even find the strength to go out and get him to move along. But, C was barking incessantly so I had no choice. We (me + pup) walked out onto the porch and I asked him to please pick up his things and move along. He stopped having his mental break for a moment, looked at me, then dropped the rest of his belongings and held up his arms like “what are you going to do.” I took a deep breath, walked out the sidewalk with C,  and asked him again to pick up his things and move along. I then said, “Please don’t make me call the cops.”

“What are they going to do?” he quipped.

Again, deep breath.

I stood there looking at him and then The Lover of my soul, and this man’s, gripped my heart and moved it the other direction. Ugh…must I help? Yes. I heard myself asking the guy if he would you like a bag for the clothes. I am pretty sure even in his crazy state, it took him by surprise. He thought about it for a moment and then said, “Yes, that would be nice. Thank you.” (And yes, he was little uncertain.) So, I walked inside, grabbed a garbage bag and an orange, then walked it out to him. I stood on the porch praying aloud, while watching him struggle gravely to get even one item into the bag. After about five minutes of this, I took another deep breath and walked with C back to the sidewalk. “Would you like me to do it for you?” I asked.

“Yes, thank you,” he said. I asked him to move to the other side of the street. As I spoke to him, I noticed he had a huge, fresh black-eye and about 10 stitches above it. Surprisingly, he complied. C didn’t seem to believe he was a threat but stayed close to me while I put all this this guys soaking wet clothes into the bag. When I finished I asked him again to move along, and after a few minutes of struggling he finally started down the street. I have seen him walking up and down my street a few times since and thankfully we’ve had no more incidents like this one.

Please, please understand: I share none of this to toot my own horn – not for a moment – only to share how the God of the universe and the Savior of this word is not silent. He is moving us into position to do HIS will. To be his hands and feet. To BRING people His love – they certainly don’t seem to be taking initiative. We are called to share the good news, with all whom are lost and in need of Salvation, Redemption and a touch of His love, grace and mercy – to minister to Him and those in need, even if only in prayer and action instead of in specific words..

What I’ll share in part 3, what I encountered this morning (and indirectly prior to today) that He showed me people must wake up to. Please hear me: you must pray about taking action, and calling upon the Spirit of the Lord in these dark days.

Read Part 1 Part 3


2 thoughts on “Your Mission: Serve Where You Are Planted Part 2”

  1. Pingback: Your Mission: Serve Where You Are Planted Part 1 - Writing Down Life

  2. Pingback: Quick update on the Your Mission Posts - Writing Down Life


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.