A couple days ago I wrote this on facebook:
“A month from today, on September 12 seven men will join me in Indy to plant a mustard seed to build friendship across racial divides by working on a common cause: to empower African Americans through home and business ownership.
Our pilot project is the restoration of the house owned by Donteau Gladney to be the base camp of the social purpose business he and I are starting called Faith of a Mustard Seed, or F.O.M. I wrote about that here and about the genesis of this dream here.
I want to introduce the men who are planting the seed to you. And I want to invite YOU to join us as the seventh man (for the Saturday-Thursday work project) or just join us for one day of that project.
My younger brother Jed has been at my side as a brother, friend and follower of Christ from the beginning. Back in about 2010 Donteau worked with Jed on some house painting jobs. Besides being a professional artist, Jed has 20+ years of experience as a professional house painter. His wife Renae and daughter will be visiting Indy that week too but probably not helping on the work project. I’m super thankful to have Jed on the team planting this first seed.
Jim is the Director of Mercy, Outreach and Justice at Redeemer Redmond. He has three great kids and works at Nintendo. Jim has a warm and winsome personality, a deep love for people, and a heart for doing mercy and justice. Jim tells me that in his past life he was a house painter. It’s awesome to my good friend Jim on the team.
Dave is an elder at Redeemer Redmond. Dave works at Microsoft. He and Cheryl have three children. Dave is very good at fixing pretty much anything, as a Jack-of-all-trades, so he is going to be put on jobs where we have no idea what to do. He plans to join us after he drops his daughter off at college. I’m super excited to have Dave with us!
Jordon is the Youth Coordinator at Redeemer Redmond. He recently graduated from the University of Washington with a Political Science degree. I don’t know what Jordon’s construction skills are but I do know that he is a hard worker and a great guy. Super glad to have him joining us. I’m looking forward to introducing Jordon to Indy!
Dismas is a long-time friend and member of the Redeemer Redmond congregation. He and I have been doing ministry together since 1988. Dismas is an international coffee figure, is a terrific cook, has a heart for God and people and is a wonderful conversationalist. I’m sure some of those skills will come in handy on our trip. It’s so great to have my faithful old friend, brother and fellow warrior strapping on the sword with me once again.
Kourtney lives in Indianapolis with Faith and two or is it three beautiful children (I’ve lost track). He is also the owner of Masonry Outfitters. I got to know Kourtney when I served as pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in Indy. At that time, Kourtney was transitioning from being a youth pastor to starting a new masonry business. That business has taken off. Kourtney’s team will be working on some foundation issues in the house, pro bono, as a gift!”
[Please keep Kourtney in your prayers. Yesterday he had a bad bike accident and shattered his elbow. So we’ll see what Kourtney will be able to do.]
Then I wrote, “You?
I am praying that God would raise up one more man to join us on this trip. It’s a big commitment of time and money. We’re asking these men to pay for their travel to Indy. Once there we’ll provide them with housing and food .
It’s also a big commitment of time to take almost a week out of your life to serve in this way (Saturday, September 12-Thursday, September 17). But the cause is good, the potential is great, and the friendships forged worth all the blood, sweat and tears.Would you join us for the week?
Or if you can’t give a whole week, would you come by for a day to put your shoulder to the plow and work with us? We would love to have your help for a day or two. Anything will help.If you have any questions email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message me.I look forward to seeing who my God will raise up to join us.”
When I wrote this I did not know how God would answer my prayer. I didn’t know that Kourtney Zahn would get in a bike accident and shatter his elbow. And I didn’t know that the SEVENTH PERSON would not be a GUY but a GAL and that she was already
Renae Dorsey (and Willow!)
I knew that Renae was going to accompany Jed to Indy and visit with friends. But I didn’t think of her as part of the team since she wasn’t going to be a part of the work party. But today we talked and it sounds like her, Jed and Willow will be staying with us at Redeemer and she said that she would help us with laying out breakfast, and the food to make our lunches. I’m also going to see if I could talk her into an hour or two of mentoring Jai’Onn, Donteau’s son, in setting up the business since she has so much experience with her and Jed’s art business. That would be amazing!
If you are interested in joining Donteau and I and this team of SEVEN work on Project #1 in Indy (Sept 12-17) we have room for you. Just reach out to me and let me know how you can help (email@example.com; 317.209.6768). Next week I’ll be putting out some practical ways people can collaborate with us on this project.
Donteau and I look forward to creating and building friendships as we work together on a common cause!