Thank you. You have been a part of a vast network of supporters who have provided money, prayers, and advice over the past few years. You helped equip me with everything I needed to live and serve in this broken neighborhood of Walnut Hills, Cincinnati.
I have seen and learned so much. I saw a community rally behind my wife and I when we went through the most challenging phase of our lives, as Larita battled cancer and the effects of chemotherapy. I learned that I was not put on this earth to change people, but rather to love them, and hopefully to convince them to love me back, for both our sakes.
Even as I write this, I am watching my little friend Charles transition from a problem child to a classroom leader who, after a year and a half of interventions, mentoring sessions, medication, and hours and hours of intensive love, is finally reading on a first grade level.
Each encounter with a kid like Charles, all my interactions with families, every experience I lived through in Walnut Hills, every story I shared via e-mail has helped shape me into a person who deeply appreciates the manifestations of God; grace, mercy, forgiveness, and most importantly love. This neighborhood and this work has been invaluable to me as an individual in so many ways. It wasn’t easy, and I felt very awkward at times, but I gave it my best and I am confident that the people I was loving on felt my love.
Sadly, Walnut Hills never really worked for my family. Try as we might, Larita, Zoe, and I as a unit never really figured out the rhythms of this neighborhood. Really, living in a neighborhood like Walnut Hills is a kind of dance. There is little structure to it, like jazz. It can speed up or slow down at the drop of a needle and, like jazz, mastering it requires an unrelenting passion and devotion. As a family unit we just couldn’t find our rhythm here.
So, because we are committed to dancing together, we are moving on to find a different kind of music, and a different kind of ministry. I will finish out the school year at Douglass and continue to visit kids like Charles in my off hours, but after that I look forward to our family bringing all that we have learned in Walnut Hills into a church-based setting. I am excited and, to be honest, a bit anxious, but I really believe God is calling us to move in this direction.
In the meantime, however, I am asking that you support me through the end of May, so that I can truly finish out the school year strong. After all, I may be leaving the neighborhood, but the rest of the Walnut Hills Fellowship will still be here, and my job over these next few months is to do my best to connect the families I am currently working with to that community. In order to make this work possible for another three months I will need to raise $1,500.
You have carried me this far, and I am counting on you to bring me to the end of this chapter, and to the beginning of the next. As always, I am so grateful for your support!
Adam (mc till)