Meet the Neighbors. For the past month the missionaries in Allendale/Lakeside, David Zimmel, Joe Bulger, and Kevin McShane, have been systematically knocking on every door within several blocks of our new start on Yale Street. "Though the People of Praise has been on Yale Street for more than 12 years, we've discovered a great many of our neighbors we have never met," said David. "We also discovered that by visiting neighbors, running summer camp, and doing neighborhood fix-it projects that our neighbors have a deep respect for our work and really appreciate our presence." During this latest effort, the missionaries are using a wall sized map to keep track of the homes they have visited and making follow-up visits to homes where no one was available and to homes where people wanted to hear more about our work.
This effort, in part, was initiated to gauge and to understand the degree of interest that our neighbors might have in us forming a grade school. The missionaries have found that many of our neighbors want to talk about educational opportunities for their children. "Not surprisingly, many of our neighbors have really appreciated the opportunity their children have had to attend our annual summer camp," said David, "and so are interested in what we may be able to do year round."
"We are not ready to make a decision about establishing a school," he said, "this effort to meet and speak with our neighbors on the topic of education is a step in that direction." The current efforts to meet the neighbors has also given the missionaries living in Allendale a wider window into the needs of our neighbors. "We've had an opportunity to get to better know people and for them to get to know us and our work," said David.
David has been impressed with how passionate our neighbors are to raise the next generation for the Lord. Bless the effort Lord!