Withdraw or Welcome?

When I moved to the Prosper, Texas area I took advantage of the friendliness of the south and chatted it up with every cashier, server, grocery bagger, and person in line with me that I could engage. It didn’t take many conversations to realize I wasn’t the only one who thought moving to North Dallas was a good idea. It was hard to find an actual born and raised Texan, it seemed almost everyone had moved within the last 10 years.

I looked out over the crowds and construction and felt a compassion for the thousands of newcomers. I know all too well the emotional stress associated with moving. I felt overwhelmed by the need but underwhelmed by my personal resources to help.

I had helped with a Just Moved Ministries class in Ohio and I wondered about starting one here. The staff at the Just Moved Ministries headquarters was super supportive so prayerfully I took the baby steps to start the first class in Prosper, Texas. It seemed almost impossible, the church we attended didn’t have a building so I didn’t know where to meet. It was only me, no co-leader to cover if I needed to be absent. I paid for the books, fliers, and other materials out of my own pocket.

But I was confident in the Biblical principle that gets proved over and over again: what seems impossible to man, is completely possible with God. 

All four gospels in the Bible tell the story of Jesus feeding a crowd of over 5000 with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. The 5000 feeding is all about God making the impossible possible, right? It’s about bringing meager resources to the one who can multiply. God has been faithful to multiple and provide for the Just Moved Prosper, Texas ministry. We’ve gone from one to over 50 in our community in 2 years. We’ve meet in multiple locations and God has gathered women to come along side me to love and lead the new ladies.

But there is more to the story that has really encouraged me. Before this miraculous meal, Jesus was WORN out & wanted to WITHDRAW but when he saw the crowds he had compassion and WELCOMED them.

There is definitely a part of me that would rather withdraw into my own agenda, that gets worn out and also wonders why bother. But when I look out over the crowds and construction I have an overwhelming compassion to help the broken, heal the hurting, and shepherd the lost. When I look into the teary eyes of a mover and see they are hungry for belonging and hope, I want to see them fed. When I see her eyes go from holding tears to a sparkle again I know her heart is being transformed by God.

Is there a group of people, broken down and hungry for something more, that you look out at and instead of withdrawing you have a desire to welcome them and meet their needs? But do those needs feel overwhelming in contrast to your underwhelming resources? Trust God to multiple and provide through you.

If you are like me, and the crowds and construction stir compassion, would you consider helping out the Just Moved Prosper, Texas ministry? We are looking for compassionate people to say, “I won’t withdraw from the weary, I will welcome them.” I get the downside of development, but we have a choice to be hostile or heal to neglect or nourish to withdraw or welcome!

If this stirs your heart, we can equip you to lead a small group in your neighborhood – out of your home or community center. Maybe you would help with childcare so that mother’s with little ones could get a break and attend a “Moving On After Moving In” class. Maybe your business would like to sponsor a breakfast for newcomers to nourish them physically and emotionally. There is opportunity to care.

Please contact me Jesse Prentiss at prentissjj@gmail.com to find out how you can make a difference in the North Dallas, Texas community and in the individual lives of woman who are uprooted after a move.

Published by Jesse Prentiss

9 Moves through 5 states in 20 years. Unpacking what God is teaching me about how HOME is not where you live but what lives with in.

2 thoughts on “Withdraw or Welcome?

  1. Hey Jesse! Thanks for responding to the compassion you feel for newcomers to Prosper. I love that you are not only seeing many women respond, but that you’re ok with not having all your ducks in a row before embarking on an important ministry. You’re allowing room for God to provide resources, bring the women He wants in your study, show you the place where your group will meet, BE your strength when you’re weary…and I’m sure there’s much more! So grateful for you!

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