Local Outreach - What a "Dog-Gone" Morning

What a “dog-gone” morning I have had. Let me explain. 

I woke up this morning and left the house as I usually do. I took our daughter to school and then headed to work. Along the way, I receive a text from my next door neighbor informing me that our two beloved dogs have gotten out of our fenced backyard and are now in the backyard of a neighbor down the street. 
I’m suddenly and unexpectedly faced with the responsibility of calling a total stranger whose morning has been invaded by two wandering dogs. If you know me, you know I don’t like to talk on the phone very much, even to people I know well. I far less enjoy this newly realized must-do task of calling a perfect stranger who has been inconvenienced by me in the wee hours of their morning routine. 
I anxiously and embarrassedly make the call. When my neighbor answers, I immediately begin apologizing for the inconvenience. My new neighbor is more than accommodating even suggesting I could come get them from her later in the day if I need to. This eases my anxiety and allows me to relax my thoughts of how upset I am that my dogs have gotten loose.
I arrive at the neighbor’s house and call to let her know I’ve arrived. As we exchange the dogs, we engage in small talk and introduce ourselves. As I drove away I was reminded of the fact that I had been actively praying for opportunities and seeking to know and love my neighbors the way Jesus has commanded us to do in Scripture. 


Relational Evangelism 

One of my favorite forms of evangelism is relational evangelism. I enjoy simply getting to know someone and allowing the developing relationship to naturally reveal my love for Jesus and offer me the platform to share more about Jesus with my new friend. I really like when the initial interaction happens because the person chooses to engage me because of something that I have to offer or something they want to know. 
It began to become very clear that both of these things had just happened but I had been unable to see it clearly at the moment because it was uncomfortable and inconvenient. Even in the unexpected and undesired circumstances of my morning events, the Lord was divinely setting up an opportunity for me to get to know Nicole, my new neighbor. I now have a reason to engage in more conversations with her because we had this initial encounter. 
How often might we miss an opportunity to be a witness for the Lord Jesus because it didn’t seem to happen the way we expected? 
I’m reminded of Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) which says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”
What plans have you made today? What steps might the Lord have established along the way? Will you follow the steps established by the Lord even if it takes you in a different direction with an unexpected turn? You may very well find yourself at a divine appointment, established by the Lord, with an opportunity to be a witness of his goodness. Don’t miss out on the moment. Seize it!
-Chuck Odum, Local Outreach Coordinator, chuck@take-the-city.com


I have been serving in some way with Take the city since October 2013. I spent a lot of time on the prayer team in the beginning and encountered God’s heart for the city in a life changing way. When the teams came back and shared testimonies, it was always fun to see that our prayers coincided with some of their testimonies in special ways. More recently I have had the privilege of leading a team to a nursing home where I used to be an employee. I used to pray over the facility every day, and it was such a miracle to see an old friend who lives there give his life to Jesus on one of our outreaches a year later. God sure has a way of answering prayers. And Take the City is an answer to so many prayers that have gone up here.

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