pilgrimage to sandtown

19 . April . 2011

pilgrimage vs. tourism:
pilgrimage is to see what God is doing in a place.
to travel there, to walk the streets
and meet the residents,
to pray for the peace of its’ streets.

1. saturday’s pre-reading assignment was
specifically chapter 5 of mark’s book.

2. i left my house in the wee hours of saturday morning
to meet up with carpool #4
(aka. minnow, jason, clara, savina, laura + carrie. xo)
so we could talk TED, squirell nut zippers, rob bell, faith,
and marvel at minnow’s mad torrential-rain-driving skills
all the way to baltimore.

3. we met some of the most humble + remarkable people in america
and had our hearts melted + moved as we walked
the streets of sandtown, specifically the 15 square block
focus area of new song sandtown.

in the pouring rain.

which we barely noticed.

4. i can’t stop thinking about it. about them.
about God’s redemptive work. about peace.
dignity. restoration. listening. not having agendas.
hard work. keeping on when you want to give up.

thanks be to God for that work.


Ms. LaVerne lets us into
the first habitat house we saw;
already dedicated + ready for move in.


the deck + back yard of this
four bedroom beauty.

sandtown habitat for humanity
just completed its 287th house
within the 15 block focus area.

two.hundred.and.eighty.seven.houses!

287 homeowners.
amazing.


hearing stories of God’s faithfulness.


Ms. LaVerne was one of the first
habitat applicants + home owners
and now is the executive director
of sandtown habitat for humanity.


mark’s old house (where pastor thurman + fam now live)
where newsong sandtown started
in his living room.


jenny’s house;
she’s one of our classmates
this year in the fellows program +
her family and mark started
the work in sandtown almost 25 yrs ago.

dispatches on a quiet revolution
+
wheelchair missionary (jenny’s dad) in the times this summer


a common homeowner’s response to
the question, ‘where do you live?’

‘on the Best Block In Sandtown!’

loving competition.


gerry’s goods,
resident owned + operated.


growth + beauty in houses that
used to be owned by a slumlord.


projects made by the 5th graders
at newsong academy,
a baltimore public school.



the amazing susan tibbels,
(jenny’s mom)
founder + principal of the academy.


the resplendent elder c.w. harris
at martha’s place + the dance studio
across the street


6:01pm back in new york,
cory was taking everyone
to times sq so nathan could
meet up w/ the youth grp
to go paintballing


6:01pm in carpool #4,
on the road again
with melted hearts +
stirring minds.

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