Derek Meyer was a first-time participant this year, joining Tony Wimmer and Tamara Julian in visiting homes in our neighborhood. After 3 evenings Derek had this to share: “I was surprised how easy it is. I was nervous that I wouldn’t know what to say or that people would slam the door on me. It has been the opposite. We go in pairs and people are generally very willing to talk. Many are appreciative of us visiting them. For those that aren’t able to talk, we just thank them and move on. It is very easy. Anyone could do it.”
The insights collected from these visits help us further decide who we want to target in our outreach efforts -- but we need more touchpoints to find common needs. Read the stories below from two different homes who both provided valuable insights. These individuals have very different needs and desires --- we can’t reach both, and we need to decide who we are going to focus on (names have been changed for anonymity).
- One evening, Tony and Derek talked with Joe, who is in his late 60s and has lived on the east side with his wife for a long time. He remembers when it was different. Joe is tired of the lack of respect from those in the neighborhood, especially from the youth, and longs for the days when people would say “Hello” to each other. Joe grew up catholic and regularly attended church until his son died of cancer in his late 30s and he lost faith. He’s not sure anything could bring him back to faith. Joe appreciates receiving the “Good News” letters we mail to him on a monthly basis and he appreciated the invitation we extended to join us at St. John, a place where saying “Hello” is still a regular occurrence. Joe thanked us for visiting him and said our visit gave him “some hope in humanity.”
We are trying to reach as many houses as we can from our prospect list - 140 homes! So far we’ve reached 15 - please help us visit these homes. To join us, talk to Tony Wimmer or complete the online form.
- On a separate evening, Tamara and Derek had a longer discussion with Houa. Houa is around 40 years old, is married, and has 3 kids ages 5 - 18. She currently attends nursing school while also working and taking care of her kids. Houa is constantly tired from her many responsibilities and the daily grind of trying to make ends meet financially. Houa even sat down on the steps while talking to us and seemed to have a sense of relief that someone was willing to listen to her. She considers herself spiritual but doesn’t see herself going to church as it is “just one more thing she has to do.” She referenced a sister who is “too involved” with church, attending 3-4 times per week but never finding the time to visit Houa and her 3 kids. She felt churches were all about themselves, wanting people to do things for the church instead of the church wanting to do things for people. She thought churches could be most impactful in the community by focusing on children and making church something she wants to attend instead of an obligation to attend.