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Laundry at Lakewood Village

Though I would love to be a little mouse in the corner for every single detail in the deployment of Echo Week, I am very enthusiastic about what I did get to observe God doing in the week I served at Lakewood Village under Lawton’s leadership this past month.

Lakewood Village is an apartment complex in southwest Johnson City between South Roan and Milligan Highway. It includes a simple group of apartments with an eclectic mix of residents representing many lifestyles from various socioeconomic, ethnic, family, and religious backgrounds. With the brief 3-year history between GFC and the management there, a relationship of mutual trust and service is developing. Equally exciting is the bonded commitment among at least 4 families from the church who combine their gifting in a variety of ways to provide events throughout the year between ECHO initiatives.

This year, Echo Week proved no exception as we met each night for a “backyard” Bible club on the basketball court and surrounding grassy area of the complex center. A play about David and Goliath had all the children involved and many proud family members loved seeing their little munchkins “fighting” the scary Goliath, a 14-year-old girl with brightly-colored red (and I do mean RED) hair.

My personal highlight of the week went back to a process that started in February when we decided to provide Laundry Love Baskets to the residents who chose to sign up in the laundry room. A small basket with laundry soap, bleach, and dryer sheets was prepared for each person who requested a basket and the delivery of them gave us more opportunities for relationship-building and getting names, apartment numbers, and life stories organized in our heads and hearts. One family in particular seemed to especially need the little boost for personal care, yet I was not sure it would make a difference. Despair, poverty, and hopelessness can lead to a struggle with personal neglect at times and this seemed to be what was a challenge for “Amy” as we will call her to protect her identity.

Can you imagine my joy when I pulled into the parking lot on the final night of our efforts during ECHO Week? Amy came towards the car just as my own 14-year-old and I were getting out to join everyone for the traditional cookout. She had a huge smile on her face. She gave me a big hug and honestly, a sweet, fresh aroma caught my attention for the first time in 3 years! She quietly said in my ear, “I still want to come to church with you! I have your phone number and am looking to get back into a church with my family.” My greatest desire for my friend is that she will know the joy of cleansing provided by our wonderful Savior who can wash us as white as the snow (Isaiah 1:18). Please remember to pray for our friends at Lakewood Village, and thank God with us for the work He starts and continues through Echo Week!

Barbara Gemar


2 comments (Add your own)

1. Joan wrote:
So blessed to read about your experience, Barbara - it was so well written! Thanks for sharing.

Mon, August 11, 2014 @ 5:23 PM

2. Donna wrote:
Wonderful story of what God is doing at Lakewood Village.

Tue, August 12, 2014 @ 10:29 AM

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