For the past 2 years, Maya and Nacie have faithfully served in the Young Ave Project Lifehouse, an outreach iniative of Take the City. They have brought love to the neighborhood, built connections between the neighbors, and created a safe place for kids to come to after school. There were many powerful moments from their time serving there, but here is one of note that will have sweet victory for years to come.
When Maya and Nacie first moved in, there was hardly any grass. The ground was mostly sand and dirt. Grass simply wouldn’t grow. Within a month or so, one of the older boys whom Maya and Nacie had befriended walked up to Miss Maya. He wanted to make money so badly. Innocently, he asked, “Can I cut your grass?”
Surprised, Maya looked at the boy. She said, “Dude, now you’ve got to see; the lot is vacant. There is no grass.”
The boy begged, “Please! I need money!”
She responded, “Okay, go fast and pray for the grass to grow.”
The boy did not hesitate; he prayed the whole summer. Sadly, nothing grew. The year came and went and still nothing. However, unbeknownst to Maya, the boy kept praying, and in the summer of 2021, there was a bounty of grass, new trees, and even a little bamboo!
Our Take the City Director went by and saw it. Wide-eyed, he asked, “What did y’all do to make the grass grow?”
Maya and Nacie both laughed. “Nothing” they said.
Later, the boy in the neighborhood returned and said, “Where’s my money?”
Maya paid the boy $30 before she and Nacie moved out. She had told him to pray for grass, and he did.
Other special moments with the neighbors include 13 children and 3 adults giving their lives to Christ. Maya overheard the children arguing one day, and then listened as a child said, “Y’all, we need to pray.” They had learned from Miss Maya and Miss Nacie to take all matters to the Lord in prayer! The children stopped arguing and prayed! What growth!
Lastly, the Lord prepared the timing for Nacie and Maya to finish their time with the kids. As Maya and Nacie felt led to close this chapter, the kids and their families began to move away one by one. Maya and Nacie had poured out what they needed to for this season and the Lord was making a way for them.
What a difference two years can make! Maya and Nacie have given their lives to be the hands and feet of Jesus and God has moved mountains in this city. We thank the Lord for sending Maya and Nacie and are excited to see how the Lord continues to use them to revitalize cities.
My first encounter with Take the City was going to Wilson Apartments in Columbus GA. We were met by a man from that neighborhood who prayed with us before we began the outreach. We set up an area for the kids to play and others went door to door witnessing and praying for people. It truly was a humbling experience. Another time I got to pray at an abortion clinic which was another humbling experience. The worship services the night before are always dynamic and spirit led. However I will conclude with the best part for me was being an eight week participant of Take the City boot camp. All of the leaders were simply AWESOME and I learned so much during those eight weeks. I thank God for all these wonderful opportunities!