Welcome back. You belong here.
Over the last two years I’ve processed and experienced a lot of new things, some tough (no friends, struggled with feeling accepted), some amazing (snow, fireplaces and easy access to many things). In all those things, I’ve seen God shaping me and changing me, mostly into something positive. Here’s a summary:
1. Working with Latinos. An amazing joy has been volunteering at EL Foster Elementary school where our children attend. I’ve had the privilege to mobilize Latino parents to do various activities and be an activist for this community. At EL Foster I feel supported and loved by the staff and parents. It’s been an amazing experience. Leigh, Katherine, Mrs. Webber, Ms. Amanda, Alma and many others have been a dream staff to serve with.
2. Immigration Reform Team. Piper and the American Friends Society have been an amazing place for our whole family. We’ve been a part of a team trying to do visitation at the Aurora Detention Center. We’ve done rallies in front of the Capitol in Denver, done vigils, passed out flyers. Meeting Piper and her staff has been a dream come true. Both Rachelle and I feel alive when we’re with them and feel we’re making a difference in the lives of immigrants and Latinos in CO.
3. Music. A great joy has been working with some amazing people in music. Just tonight, I once again was in awe of the talent and stories of hope these guys bring. Just about every week, I leave the stage happy to have played with great people, do beautiful music and do it for a greater purpose than ourselves, we’re doing it for God and His Kingdom.
4. Our Neighbors Abbey. Our neighborhood is sleepy, older people live here, it’s sort of a retirement community, some young families but not many, but still we’ve made some amazing friendships. The latest thing we did was a Thanksgiving Open House where 20 of our neighbors and friends came and ate together. We feel so thankful for the relationships we’ve established here over these two years.
5. Our Staff. I continue to be in awe of the vision and staff at work. Steve, Jeff and the rest of the guys are a dream come true, a combination of excellence, heart and skill. I get to work with some amazing people every week, every day, yes, some challenges, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. They support me, believe in me and I often feel I’m given opportunities to grow and be myself.
6. Easy Access. Something I love about Denver is how simple and easy it is to go places, get involved, make a difference. For example I’ll never forget paying a ticket at the DMV in Denver, the whole thing literally took 10 mns, and that was on a Monday at noon.
7. The Snow. I have learned to really enjoy the snow, in fact, I hope to get more into snowboarding, and just enjoying it in the winters. After all, we have some of the best snow in the world here. All I need is a 4WD and some gear and off we go!
8. Community Service. Both Rachelle and I have have met some “amazing” missional people here in CO. Michelle is her good friend and she does backpacks for Foster children in Jefferson and soon Denver county. Linda does a Clothing Store for the poor, others do work in Mexico, others help the homeless, we’ve done coat drives at our elementary school. The other day First Annuity Bank called to have me possibly help them get more involved in the community. I hope to start a company called kick.com on collaboration, innovation, communication and community service. I want to start a Neighbors Abbey where we explore faith, do book clubs and get to know our neighbors. There are so many doors God has opened for us in two years I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the dream coming true.
There are so many other things that are small but amazing gifts from God, simple stuff that make us happy. My gym the YMCA is 2 mns from my house and it’s so nice, there David also gets to play basketball on nice rims, nice floors for very low costs, he’s part of the Jr. Nuggets.
Rachelle works part time at EL Foster a place where she feels accepted and a school we both love. Our house is getting a top of the line roof this week pretty much for free (thank you hail storm!) I have a great life coach just minutes from work, Denver Seminary is not too far, CU Boulder is a great college, affordable and in a really cool town Boulder, CO. Denver is beautiful, nice streets, amazing pubs, sports bars, Coors Field, Invesco Field, Pepsi Center, all within walking distance, the skate park. And even though we are not mountain people, the Rockies are gorgeous and the times we’ve been we’ve had a great time.
We have great medical coverage with Kaisser (and their offices are close by), our Volvo has held up nicely and owes us nothing, we have a simple TV, our bed has no bed frame, we hardly have any decorations in our house, we love our fireplace, we live a very simple life. We have a nice backyard with green grass (right now it’s dead, winter can be depressing), it is sunny here most days, they dryness sucks but oh well.
Somedays, I go outside at night, like two nights ago, look up at the stars, you can see the Big and Little Dipper just about every time, and I feel like the luckiest man on earth.
Has it been hard at times? Oh yes. Do we miss home? Yes. Do I miss the diversity, culture of Long Beach, CA, the ocean? All the time..But going back every 6 months or so has really helped, mom and dad, my best friends Matt and Rim they’re all there in SoCal just miles away from each other, we still own our home in the LBC and it’s being used by church planters and missionaries, it makes us feel like we’re helping the Kingdom of God become tangible.
Move back? Sure, it’d be easy to give up and just be comfortable again. But I sometimes feel the small and temporary trials we’ve experienced are getting better. Life is getting easier. And what if all these trials are part of a grand story God is trying to do in us? Not one to make us rich (I’m just glad to have a job), not one to make us fat (well, I am fat but you know what I mean) but to live a life that is worth living. The struggles just make me appreciate all I have even more.
I have everything I need here in CO. Yes I miss my friends, and sometimes I get lonely and depressed, or feel unwanted. But most days, I feel I’m living a dream, I love my wife, we do things together, our children are amazing. God’s redemption has been made clear to us in amazing ways.
Have a great day.
Into the future,