Take the City Project LifeHouse Initiatives
Generations of American children watched Fred Rogers begin his program each day on PBS singing this song as he came home, took off his sweater and put on his house shoes from 1968-2001. Mr Rogers programs are credited with teaching radical kindness, acceptance, and empathy to help children deal with the troubled civil unrest and rebellion against the moral, religious and legal values of our society beginning in the 1960-70s.
Jesus taught radical kindness, acceptance, and empathy during His earthly ministry. Jesus responded to a question from a young Mosaic lawyer of how to inherit eternal life; by reminding him that we are to “Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (NIV)
In response to the Lawyer’s inquiry of “Who is my neighbor?”, Jesus taught the parable of the Good Samaritan going to help, bandage wounds, and carry to an inn for care; a traveler who had been robbed and beaten and left on the side of the road, from Jerusalem to Jericho. This injured man had been ignored by a priest and levite passing by on the other side of the road. Jesus asked the lawyer who had been a neighbor to the injured man and responded to the lawyer’s answer, “the one who had mercy on him”, with an admonition to “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-36)
Project LifeHouse is a Take the City initiative to bring local churches together with local business leaders in partnerships to help revitalize communities. They accomplish this by restoring old homes, recruiting pioneer missionary families to move into urban communities to become good neighbors, and ongoing outreach/inreach to evangelize and disciple neighbors in these communities. We have currently remodeled 3 homes and are prayerfully planning to remodel a fourth home by December 2019. Our vision is to have 10 Lifehouses in Columbus completed or programmed by the end of 2020. We currently have pioneer missional families living in two LifeHouses and are prayerfully recruiting a third family.
The first LifeHouse is in the Bradley Circle community. This home has been occupied by our Andrew and Ellen Chalmers’ family since January 2018. They have been conducting monthly inreaches with Take the City volunteers, planting and harvesting a community garden for the third year, and have begun their second fall Bible study in partnership with Grace Presbyterian Church.
Bradley Circle Community Garden
Bradley Circle Bible Study
The Bedsoles moved from Oregon into our second LifeHouse in the East Highlands community in February 2019. They have begun meeting and praying with their neighbors, conducting periodic inreaches with Take the City volunteers. The Bedsoles are also meeting with local pastors: discussing community priorities as well as the best location for a community garden. Finally, they are prayerfully seeking a church family to join in partnership with their community evangelism and discipleship ministry.
26th Street Repairs by Evangel Temple MAPS
Our third completed LifeHouse is in the Young Avenue Community off of Veterans Dr near 38th St. This Lifehouse was occupied by the Eady family in 2018. They too had begun meeting and praying with their neighbors, conducting periodic inreaches with Take the City volunteers, and were prayerfully seeking a church family to join in partnership with their community evangelism and discipleship ministry. The Eadys returned home to Alabama during last fall to care for the wife’s father who is battling cancer. Since then, we have conducted a community inreach in the Young Ave area and plan to continue to conduct periodic community inreaches as we recruit a new pioneer missional family for this community.
Young Ave InReach
Our fourth LifeHouse is scheduled for Remodel this fall in the Garden Drive Community off Cusseta Rd in South Columbus. We are currently seeking church and local business donations and contributions to raise the estimated $40,000 to remodel this home with a new kitchen and bathroom, flooring, windows and doors, and HVAC. Thankfully we have several interested business partners and church serve groups that are planning to assist with this project. We are prayerfully planning to complete the remodeling of this LifeHouse by the end of 2019. We have conducted two community inreaches this summer in the Garden Drive neighborhood. Both of these inreaches were well received by the neighbors, telling us that many of them have been praying for revival in their neighborhood and are thankful that God has sent us there to minister in their community.
Garden Drive InReach
The ministry partnership begins with local churches and business leaders joining with Take the City to acquire and remodel abandoned homes in targeted communities that can be remodeled for $30,000 – $40,000. The carpentry, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing , and interior repairs take 1-2 months once the remodel funds are raised or pledged by local business and churches.
Please contact us if you, your church family, or business would like to discuss how you can become a LifeHouse volunteer, donor, or partner. We look forward to discussing how you can become involved in taking our city for Jesus Christ, one neighborhood at a time, by becoming good neighbors and sharing the love and light of Jesus Christ.
Louis Chalmers, Project Lifehouse Director