I now know the city manager of the City of Austin, the director the Austin Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and the artists at the tattoo shop down the street. I know college students, Taco Bell franchise owners, stay-at-home moms, and high school coaches. I know Dell Engineers and Dell assembly-line workers.
The hardest thing about leaving was my desire to be on mission with my neighbors. I don't want to insulate myself from unbelievers.
So I'm actively seeking with all my daily contact to love my neighbors and be on mission with what God wants to do in and through me.
Two steps I'm taking in my apartment so that people know we care and feel comfortable with us:
- I clean up the stairwell to my apartment every time I walk past. Someone likes throwing cigarette butts, so I pick them to keep the building attractive and welcoming.
- I greet the people I pass in the building. When I first moved in, people wouldn't look at me when I passed. Now, the kids love it when I say hello, and my neighbors are comfortable with us.