Sunday, July 8, 2012

From Waco to Lawrence Part I

                 At the end of March 2012, things began to change in the life of our little family of three.  This post series is dedicated to telling what has been happening this spring and summer. It has grown into a story worth documenting and inviting others into as the pieces continue to unfold and lock together.  Stay with me as I set the scene and then you will see how each of these pieces interlock. 
               One of several defining moments for this journey was when my friend Kristen Scott & I were visiting upstairs in my library.  She told me how she had taken Broadway street to come to our house on Waco and had a strong sense that we were doing ministry there. She then asked just what BJ and I were doing on Broadway with all the prostitution, hourly motels, etc.  I was stirred; I told her for the past 5 1/2 years we had wanted very badly to love people on Broadway... but it seemed like the doors were always shut when we tried.  Like when I offered to do free counseling work with Project Butterfly (a local non-profit that works with the police to help victims in human trafficking in Wichita) or when BJ tried to start connecting with the homeless at the Messianic Branch Homeless shelter/Pastor Dan, etc.  I'd thought about how I could rent out a building and set up shop there after hearing Shane Claiborne talk at Friends University recently, maybe another legacy house where we could offer massage and counseling, just another dream.   Nothing had worked out and we hadn't pursued anything recently.  
               Kristen was surprised because she felt so strongly about us connecting to people on Broadway. What is interesting was I had 2 other close friends, Bethany Peterson and Quin Heavrin who had similar experiences.  Both driving on South Broadway months and years before Kristen, were sure that we were strongly connected there, sure that we were called there.  Quin said that she used to drive up and down Broadway wondering which house was ours all the way back in 2007 because she was positive that's where we had bought our house.
                Then Kristen told me about a lady who was a former prostitute/victim of human trafficking in Wichita, Theresa Briscoe.  I'd never heard of her before.  She said Theresa had come to her church and told her story of prostitution that started at age 13 and how she met Jesus and how He rescued her from her former life.  Kristen told me about how Theresa is always on S. Broadway through her non profit, Significant Other Ministries, connecting with the women and helping them, loving them, setting them free.  I noticed stirring in my spirit.  
               Within that week, two people who are on Legacy staff with me invited me to a trafficking training led by lady named Theresa Briscoe.  I couldn't go, but ever since then she continues to cross paths with me in someway--whether in person or online.  We recently met in July at a Legacy event and it felt as if we'd already known one another for a long time.  After I told her a few times that we really hadn't ever met before, it was just the Spirit establishing connection of our hearts, she agreed that "us abolitionists stick together."
               Also at the end of March, our Camry engine blew up: the second defining moment of this story.  After looking at cars for a week, we found ourselves a complete peace and no car.  The three of us were cruising around in our '92 pickup with no AC and we felt pretty good that our God had something figured out for us.  On April 7th at Quin's son's 1st birthday, I got to talking to a friend I had made a year prior, Lindsay Mullins.  We were just sharing about our lives and when I mentioned the car situation, Lindsay just responded with, "I have a car you could borrow for a while, I just bought a new car and God told me to keep this other one for His purposes--I'm not to profit from it."  I was stunned.  One thing led to another and Lindsay had saved us $7000 in our pinch and signed over her title to us to borrow her car for up to three years, for nothing in return.  BJ and I agreed that this situation seemed to be foreshadowing something greater, that God overly abundantly provided for us in our time of need, and that He was planning on showing us more where that came from.    
              I found a very old gallon size honey jar at an estate sale Bethany and I went to around the corner from my house. I bought it because it had a turquoise label.  A week or so later, I read it and it said "Churchman's Clover Blossom Honey, Goddard, Kansas" My friends that lived over on South Broadway, Dale & Vicki Churchman were from Goddard I thought.  I asked Vicki if there was a connection and sure enough, it was Dale & his father's business many years ago.  After delivering the jar to their home on a walk one day, Vicki wrote BJ and I an email saying that they would be selling their home and moving to Riverside.  To my horror at the time, he wrote back asking them how much they'd want for their home.  I knew that if I said anything against it due to the location, I'd lose my influence to change his mind.  I'd decided I'd better keep my mind open while waiting for the right moment to steer him in a different way, and that was the perfect inlet for God to work in us both. 
               Over a period of about 3 weeks, BJ and I talked and prayed a lot about pursuing this decision to buy the Churchman's home on Broadway.  We realized that we needed to make sure a door was closed on another house we'd been dreaming about for five years. There is a yellow Victorian house, also built in 1887 around the corner from us.  In March of 2010, we had introduced ourselves to the owner and asked her if she would be interested in selling her home.  She said yes, she was excited to move out of this neighborhood but that it probably wouldn't be until Spring of 2012.  She gave us several tours of her home over these two years and finally came to us in September of 2011 saying she was ready to sell her house, but she wouldn't meet with us or allow us to take any steps.  We ended our contact with her until this April.  The owner of this yellow house we'd been dreaming about for so long was very excited to resume contact with us, much to our surprise.  This is an excerpt of our contact with the owner:
             ---- bryan brockus <> wrote:
           Well I think it would be best if we could get together and talk, I think that would          be a much better option than email. I am free this evening, I work tomorrow and then Sunday is open as well. I have every intention of being completely open with you about our situation and finances. I would love nothing more than to make something work without you having to hire a realtor and paying that person 6% of whatever you sell the house for. We are excited to be back in communication with you and hope that this can be a positive experience. But as far as were to go from here, we have never done this before so hopefully we can figure that out when we meet. I have a few ideas from our previous realtor but we can pave our own path! Blessings,
Bryan Brockus Jr.
"Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2012 14:09:17 -0400  To:
Sunday works best for me right now. I'm suppose to do something tonite, but it may fall thru. I would let you know if I become free tonite. Molly"
              ---- bryan brockus <> wrote:
             Ok. Call or text me if you become free. My number is 312-5560. Thanks Molly
             Bryan Brockus Jr. 
When I reread the earlier email, I don't like it. Please what ideas could you prossibly have. If I understand the system it is a contract w and offer then appraisal then sale. Please make me an offer my patience is very thin. I don't want to meet tomorrow. If you want to buy the house then make me an offer."
              This was about the end of our correspondence with Molly.  She, over the course of the two years had displayed this unstable pattern of pulling close and pushing away.  Door closed to our "dream house."  After seeking out our friends and family to pray about this with us, they all said run the other way!  We now will never have to wonder about this house, Jesus was not leading us in this way. 
              Toward the end of this valley of decision, I remember sitting at a Starbucks patio table on a Sunday afternoon in April with BJ, Michael & Bethany Peterson processing everything that was taking place. It was this day that things began to turn in my heart.  It In so many ways it seemed like it was everything we ever wanted, and in other ways--not.  It was like we were being washed slowly in that direction, like riding waves, slowly at first, but then they became faster and faster until we landed on the shore of 1357 S. Broadway.

              One Sunday morning, BJ came home from work after listening to a story in a sermon on the radio.  The point of the story was being available.  I was so moved by the spirit as BJ retold this poignant story to me, I welled up with tears.  During his story, I heard Jesus say in my heart, "Location, Location, Location." This was something my own dad had always said to me about real estate. But I understood what Jesus meant: This was a spiritual location.  He was giving me things I'd always wanted and things He'd always wanted for me.  This was my first moment of acceptance of Jesus' dreams for us. Finally feeling peace in our hearts together we began to dream about what kinds of things this spiritual location and proximity to God's people may bring for us and for them.  Thinking about the big wrap around porch, the humungous parlor, and being right next to a middle school, across the street from Lincoln Park, all the foot traffic.  All the opportunities to be the light, fragrance, and presence of Jesus through our house.  Meanwhile, I was working through a lot of personal fears and questions at this time, acknowledging them and naming them and externally processing them with Jesus and friends.  
               What is true safety for me?  What kinds of things am I afraid of? What do I do with these fears?  Fearing my kid running into a four lane road after her ball or a dog.  Being taken, kidnapped, raped.  House broken into, traumatized by a stranger in some way.  What do I need to be safe practically, spiritually?  It's so confusing sometimes, separating the things our culture has taught us that "make us safe" but are really just facades/mirages that make us FEEL safe.  After recognizing those, removing the facades and learning to mentally/emotionally plug in the truths from Jesus about the realities of what it really means to be safe in the Kingdom.  By no means do I have this figured out yet, I just understand this is my current daily process of trading fears for Kingdom reality.  "Do not be afraid" is the most quoted phrase in the entire Bible.  How do I give them to Jesus, how do I trust Him here?  Anytime I fear I know I'm in need of transformation into the Kingdom, anytime I buy into a friend, family member or news communicated "way to feel safe" that really leads me straight into the arms of fear, I must turn and run into the arms of our Papa who says, "Do not be afraid."
             Over the past 5.5 years in our home on Waco, I have felt very safe--I've loved our home, and am very comfortable here.  Mostly, I feel very in control here of our life at 1132 S. Waco.  How am I going to feel that way on Broadway?   Jesus has said to me that He was going to be with me, and that I was not going to feel comfortable and in control, that my heart would grieve with His heart over the tragedy outside my door and that I would know Him more than ever before.
               More on safety... He gave me a picture.  A spiritual mother to me, Meme Overholt, was singing prayers over BJ and I one night, May 14 in our home.  Much of it was Psalm 23.  During this time, Jesus gave me an image: BJ, Rivi and I were behind Him, looking at His back.  We were all facing the back of the Broadway house.  He was wearing a Shepherd's cloak with a rod and staff, and his shadow overcast the whole house and the street Broadway beyond the house. I had been perplexed by the angle we were approaching the house, there was something about it... and then it clicked: if we were coming from our house on Waco to the Broadway house, that's the angle of the house we would be facing.  Waves washing us onto the shore of a new land.  ( be continued...)

on July 8, 2012, also the anniversary of when I met my husband 7 years ago and became engaged to him 6 years ago!


  1. Wonderful to see the story all in order like this. Even if I've heard most of it and been a part of some of it. Lovely to see where your mind and heart have been on this journey. Can't wait to read more.

  2. Hello,

    I know you don't know me, but my name is Zach. I just so happened to be looking up my old residency from when I was a kid and stumbled upon your blog! I just wanted to say hi, see how you and your family are doing and ask if you still have photos of the house on Waco. I currently have none in my possession.

    I would love to make contact with you, but only if you wish! Please feel free to contact me at Thanks for your time and consideration, and I hope to hear from you soon. I can describe the house and so on for proof, and have a little bit of history of it.