Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pictures from the Last Month!

Welcome to Fall everyone! It's been so nice to be able to cook and stay inside without sweating and we've had a great time sending the kids back to school and doing lots of other fun stuff. There have been some ups and downs but it seems like everything is settling into place now.

This past weekend we even took a bunch of the kids and their Mom to go apple picking in NJ with our Navs friends. It was such a great time and we are loving being with our extended and adopted families up here! Here are a bunch of adorable shots of the darlings...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Praying for Our Enemies

Hi Friends,

The first day of school has come and Kirstin and I got to wake up this morning to see the kids off on the bus. They were so excited and their smiles were so big it was really the cutest thing ever! We snapped a couple pictures so I'll put them up a little later.

I'm really writing to let you all know about some issues we are facing with the police here. I grew up having a great impression of law enforcement and never having really dealt with them other than on TV and in the Movies. When I moved here though that began to change, within a week of moving in cops were telling me to "get the hell out of the hood" and not so nice or respectful things. Our block is certainly a dangerous one and since another shooting happened a few weeks back we have had 24 hour police surveillance and they've brought in special teams to try and deal with the "hot block."

This is all fine and we don't like shootings either but the police have begun to harass our neighbors, some deservedly so but in the last week they have detained our 13 year old neighbor simply because she was sitting outside and wouldn't leave. Of course no charges were pressed because sitting on your front step is not actually illegal but it is certainly a traumatic and unjust thing for a girl we care about deeply. Last night Kirstin was sitting out again with this girl, her brother and some other friends at around 9pm. One of the boys had pliers since he had just fixed his bike and a cop came up and asked "if he had a problem." The boy explained that he was fixing his bike, which the cop didn't believe, Kirstin vouched for him, which he still didn't believe. They were all then told that this was the worst possible place to be, and if they didn't go inside they could arrest them all.

After all the teenagers went inside, Kirstin and I went to speak with the cops about this harassment. We explained our bad experiences with the police and that we did appreciate what they were doing but would also appreciate it if they spoke with more respect to our neighbors. (In more words than that of course). We definitely had a decent conversation but it was striking how different their perspective was. These police were offended and threatened by 13 year olds who didn't respect them even though they had not respected them in the beginning. I asked them to try and show that they were in fact at least ten years older and come at the kids with a little bit more respect since they were not in fact doing anything wrong, they sort of agreed to this but then ran off on some sort of emergency. Just a few minutes later they were back just standing on the corner. Please pray with us for them that they would be given the mindset of Jesus and have a little more compassion for the people who have no choice but to live on this block that they hate so bad. We want them to do their jobs in protecting us but also in respecting and loving the community they are in. Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support and let us know if you've got any radically loving ideas for how we can deal with this situation!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to School!

Tomorrow is the first day of school for NYC public school students and we can't wait! It's been an incredible summer and we've been able to really solidify and build relationships with all of our neighbors. But man are we excited for the kids to get back to school!

We get to wake up early tomorrow morning and send them all off with their fresh new uniforms and school supplies. We also all started class today which for Sara and I was our last-first day of class ever! We'll all have a lot of decisions coming up over the next few months as to what God has for us next so be praying with us for his guidance and for his protection over our kids as they go off to school, that they would be able to learn and that we and their teachers would be able to love and serve them well.