We just got our internet connection installed, so I should be able to resume posting more regularly. (For the last 2 weeks, it’s been a bit spotty because we’ve been siphoning Internet from someone in the neighborhood whose weak signal we picked up. Derek, one of the guys on our team, has a whole thesis on why it’s not really stealing. Something about if your neighbor’s sprinkler is on and the water happens to fall on your grass, are you to be blamed for benefiting from it? I know, it’s a stretch, but the brother can make a heck of an argument.)

I was venting to a friend back in Boston that I feel so dumb because it feels like all we’ve done for the last two and a half weeks is get settled in. Our days have included setting up our apartment, trying to find jobs, getting 215 area code cell phone numbers, changing over our driver’s licenses, etc, etc, etc. Don’t get me wrong - in between all this, we have visited 4 local churches, hung out with people on our team, tried to meet people in Philadelphia, met with a potential church planting coach, and more. It’s just that we haven’t made any great ‘progress’ in planting 7 Mile Road.

My friend’s response was really good for me to hear. He said, “Stop it. Stop saying that you and Shainu aren’t working yet. You are!” My buddy had spent 2 years overseas and knows all about the life of a missionary. He said that when he got there, he was strictly advised not to even think that they would ‘do ministry’ for about a year. For a whole year, their job was to make a home for their family, get acclimated, learn the culture, learn the language, and dig really deep roots into their surrounding.

Now we may not need a year to do that, but my friend reminded me that settling in is a part of our work. There’s a language and a culture here that we’ve got to take time to learn. His correction was something I needed to hear. It gave me a new perspective for standing in line at PennDot to change over our licenses and our plates. I know it sounds silly, but that’s part of our work. It’s small, but I lived in Boston for 5 years and never changed my NY cell phone number or license. I’ve been here 2 weeks, and I’m changing both. We’ll be doing everything we can to become true Philadelphians…just don’t ask me to root for the Phillies.

7 Mile Road Church