Franklinton is an area wrecked by drug use, prostitution, violence and poverty. Most middle class Americans would avoid living in such an area. But for Becca and Teddy, daily living and challenging the status quo to positive change is part of their calling. I know they might not say those exact words, but their peaceful approach to community and spreading the gospel played out in small acts of love is changing the community from within. Watching the neighbors children. Offering a cup of tea to people needing warmth. A strong yet loving word to those in need of truth. It's amazing to watch unfold and see their humility and practical approach to all of it.
Within 24 hours of being in Franklinton I was propositioned as a prostitute and our car was broken into resulting in my purse being stolen. It was unsettling.
I was walking from Emily's to Becca's house with Felix on my hip and a man rolled down his window and asked if I needed a ride. I felt incredibly uneasy about him even stopping, but naively, I also thought "what a nice guy." I turned him down because I only had a block to go. As he drove away, I noticed his gas tank was open and almost chased him down to tell him, but he was gone before I had the chance. When I retold the story to Rebecca, her face dropped and she began apologizing.
"I'm so sorry, Katie. He thought you were a prostitute. Asking for a ride, asking if your going to work, or just stopping and rolling down the window is code for that in this part of town. Thirty percent of all prostitution arrests in columbus take place two blocks from here. I'm so sorry."
The next morning Josh and I woke early to go grab some coffee before breakfast. When we arrived at our car and as we approached the car I noticed that Felix's car seat had been tossed over the center console. When we opened the doors our trunk had been accessed by the back seat and everything in the car was scattered in disarray. And my purse was missing.
We spent the morning canceling credit cards and talking about what was missing.There wasn't much of value that was taken except for my new purse. I spent all my christmas money to buy it from Banana Republic. Shallow, i know, but I cried. I cried for my silly little purse that was taken. I cried for the inconvenience of it all. I cried thinking about someone rummaging through Felix's diaper bag and touching all the stuff in our car. I cried because it made me feel helpless. I cried because I felt violated. I felt abandoned and unprotected.
I know there are people, including some who are incredibly close to me, who have been through much, MUCH worse and this gave me a minuscule glimpse at the injustice of it all. I prayed that the purse would be found. I prayed that the Lord would meet the person who felt so desperate to tear through a middle-class car looking for anything of value. And I prayed for redemption of the situation. For a follow through on his promise of working all things together for my good.
About 6 hours later Josh got a phone call. A man found my purse by his truck and got our phone number off of a checkbook. Celebration ensued! Josh, Rebecca and Teddy went together to pick up the purse. Just a two block walk away my purse was found in tact and everything was still there except for a target giftcard, my iPhone charger, a box of golden grahams, and loose change.
I was sweeping in a quiet house while they were gone. Giving thanks for the Lord for what was lost being found and I was hit out of the blue with His voice speaking to my heart. "It's March 1st. This is the start of a new month and it's the beginning of restoration."
I cried. I cried tears of joy because so much as been stolen. So much as been taken from my family in recent months. We have felt abandoned by God. We have felt attacked - metaphorically and literally - without defense. And seeing his Hand move in even the stolen purse situation has softened my heart towards him again. He is good. He does have a plan. He will pull all the pieces of this messed up world together and write a beautiful story. He will restore.