God has been doing some really amazing things this month! We’ve been really busy and God has been opening up some great opportunities, conversations, and relationships.

Holly Grove Elementary
We recently had the opportunity to bless the school we adopted by volunteering for one full day and another half day at their annual fundraiser. One of the days we were scheduled to help and the other I just showed up and offered to help any way I could. They were greatly appreciative and it opened some great opportunities for conversations during and since that event.

I walk my daughter to school every day which gives me the opportunity to see several of the staff members almost every day. I also have lunch with my daughter and help out in her classroom almost every week which has allowed me the chance to interact even more with many of the staff members.

Last month we blessed the staff with a basket of all kinds of snacks and fruit which they loved and really appreciated. Next to the basket we also had a sheet where teachers could tell us any specific needs they had for their classroom. Several teachers shared their needs with us and our team recently delivered the supplies they requested.

A couple of weeks ago we hosted a booth at a local festival called HollyFest. We had a pumpkin bowling game and mask making station for the kids and held a drawing for a $300 gift card to Great Wolf Lodge. While the kids played the games and made masks, we had the chance to share with the parents about the church and invite them to enter the drawing. Those who entered the drawing also received a gift bag with a sports bottle and pen with the church name and website on them as well as an invitation to our follow up event that we were having the next weekend. Many people that filled out the card for the drawing indicated that they were interested in finding out more information about LifeSpring.

The next week I contacted and personally invited them to join us at our follow up event. I’ll share more about that in next month’s report but we felt like it went really well. We had about 20 people that came in addition to those on our team and everyone who filled out a response card indicated that they were very interested in joining our launch team! On a side note, while at HollyFest, I reconnected with the Mayor who asked me to offer the opening prayer at the town council meeting the next week.

Our Neighborhood
We are continuing to connect with as many neighbors as possible and have had some great conversations. One afternoon more or less on the spur of the moment we decided to invite some neighbors over for hamburgers and 2 families came over. It was a great time of hanging out and getting to know each other, which is something that doesn’t happen often enough in our neighborhood. We have also connected with another couple down the street and had dinner at their place recently and are planning on getting together with them over Thanksgiving.

The house on the corner lot across the street from us has been vacant and neglected for several weeks and the yard was out of control so I decided to take care of it one afternoon. Because it’s a corner lot and everyone drives by it, it had become a major eyesore and was very noticeable once it was cut. That has opened the door to some good interactions with several more of our neighbors.

On Halloween we decided to grill hot dogs and give them away to kids and their parents who came by trick or treating (in addition to the candy of course). We also borrowed a large screen and projector from a local church and played a movie in our driveway for people to watch while they ate their hot dogs and took a short break from going door to door. Later on we started up our fire pit and roasted marshmallows for the kids while they watched the movie. We met tons of new neighbors and people were really excited about the hot dogs and the movie. We are hoping that this will be the start of a new tradition that we can build onto each year.

Core Team
Our core team training this month has been focused on what it means for and looks like for us to live missionally in the places where God has already sent us. This was a major paradigm shift for us during the residency and is turning out to be a major shift for our team as well. It is exciting to see some light bulbs coming on but is one that takes some time after years of being programmed to see the church as a vendor of religious goods and services and ourselves as the consumers. I am also meeting twice a month with 2 members of our core team who will likely become key leaders in the church to help develop their leadership abilities.

We are encouraged to see the doors that are beginning to open and the progress we are making in our neighborhood, at the school, in the town, and with our core team. God is clearly at work and we are looking forward to what He is going to to do next. Thank you for your continued prayers, encouragement, and financial support. Your partnership is instrumental in accomplishing the mission God has called us to here in Holly Springs and the surrounding area.