You know that nagging feeling you sometimes get when you know God wants you to do something and you keep putting it off? That’s the kind of feeling I have had recently. 

We’ve been in our house for almost thirteen years. It’s the longest I have ever lived in one house, and I have lived in Dallas for almost nineteen years—longer than any other city or state (I’ve lived in five states and on one island which happens to be a U.S. Territory). It hasn’t been easy for me to stay put. I’ve been antsy—real antsy—for the past several years. We tried several years ago to move out of state (it has gotten a little too crowded for me here) and sought to move just a couple years ago twenty miles north so we could be closer to our church/children’s school. Every time, God slammed doors. Every single house on our block sold except for ours. It’s laughable now.

So, here I am still in this same house and in this same crowded city driving twenty miles north for church (thankfully we took a sabbatical year this year, and my children are doing virtual academies to give us a break from the commute/traffic). I feel a little pulled at times because I’m kind of stuck between communities. All the people I do church and community with live a long way away. It’s not easy just to pop in for coffee or meet at five o’clock. Dropping off a new baby meal or a basket for a sick one can be challenging. My neighborhood is just a few miles outside of downtown. Our lots are wide, people are busy, and the majority of the neighborhood children go to one of the more than a couple dozen private schools in the area. I’ve lived here thirteen years, and sadly, I only know a couple of people. We’ve tried to meet people over the years, but it is plain hard.

Back to that nagging feeling. As I mentioned, I am homeschooling my three children this year. I taught Bible study in the Fall at my church, but I decided to take a break for the Spring semester. Among the busyness of my days—monitoring their schoolwork, laundry, dishes, meal preparation, more dishes, writing, and studying God’s Word—I started feeling a burden to get to know my neighbors better.

One day earlier this month, I posted on our neighborhood board that I’d like to start a Bible study in my home to get to know my neighbors. I wanted our time to be intentional and more than just a book club meeting. I wanted to find a way to meet like-minded neighbors who want to study God’s Word together, and see what the Lord has placed on their hearts. I want to join with a group of women to pray for our neighbors to be saved, for the protection of our children and our homes, for miracles to take place in the public and private schools in our city, see people giving their lives to Jesus, and change the atmosphere of our city.

I had no idea if anyone would respond, but no sooner had I posted, women started replying. Not only did they respond, but they responded with excitement. Currently, there are close to twenty women interested in coming to the study.

I’m bursting with joy to see how this story continues to unfold. I can’t wait to meet women of all ages and stages from different denominations and backgrounds. Some of the women work full-time, some are homemakers. Some have babies while others are empty nesters. We share a couple of commonalities; one, we share a desire to learn and study God’s Word together, and two, we share a neighborhood.

God calls some to reach the nations while He calls others to reach out into your own neighborhood. I figure if God still has us in this neighborhood, there has got to be a reason for it. Who knows what He has in store for my neighborhood study. Maybe He has something in store for your neighborhood, as well.

Jesus told the disciples, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). He mentioned their immediate neighborhood as the first place they would be witnesses. What if we all were witnesses first right where we are? How much greater do you think our neighborhoods, cities, states, nation, then the world would be?

Our Bible study starts today and I would love your prayers.

Erin Olson

Erin Olson

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)