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“Bryan and Amy’s Story”
by Tom Goodman
September 29, 2005

Okay everyone, here’s one you should forward to five of your Hillcrest friends.  Don’t assume that all your friends get LeaderLines.  Read this and then forward it.  This is the INVITE Evangelism Strategy at work!  (For more information on the INVITE Strategy, click on Click here and go to the bottom of the page.  Bryan sent me the following e-mail about how God is using his family to reach his neighbors.  I have his permission to share it.

       From: bryan@d***.org
       Sent: Fri 9/16/2005 10:58 AM
       To: tom@hbcaustin.org

OK, this is a long one.  Work is a crunch right now, but this is what consumes me and has for weeks.  It is even to the point of having difficulty concentrating on work.
It's simply amazing what is happening in our neighborhood, and even my work to a lesser extent.  We have not been doing anything special.  Just being friendly.  What it has led to is some pretty solid friendships.  (I don't use that term loosely.)  It has far surpassed a casual relationship.
There are four individual couples; all with children, and each have a different circumstance.  All but one of the ladies is an at-home mom, so Amy gets day-to-day interaction with them.  Each is just drawn to her.  They spend many hours a week together.
It's the only time in our life we have NOT been nervous about sharing our faith.  If it comes up we discuss it, if it doesn't, then we just live our life.  We didn't realize until recently that they were really taking notice.  We got some feedback from a friend of ours that also has a casual relationship with one of our neighbors.  They mentioned on several occasions things we did, and how it impacted their life, or their children's life.  No one could be more ordinary then Amy and me.  We both realize that God has just chosen this time and place to put all of these people in our life.  We frequently discuss the importance of this moment and that we may never have this great of opportunity again in our life.
Neither of us are the "closer" type.  We are saving that for God and you.  (Or where ever they decide to go to church.)  They will decide to go at some point, you can just tell.  In fact the wife of the Buddhists (from Korea, here for two years on a work contract) is now attending a Bible study with Amy.  The husband has no part of it, but has flat out told his wife to emulate everything Amy does.  He wasn't referring to Church, just the way she takes care of things from cleaning house to watering flowers, to taking care of the children.  You can tell he cares; it's just a matter of time before he shows interest.
The couple that we know the best and have the greatest influence just moved in a few months ago from California.  As people do, we made our initial "opinion" of them.  They were not our "type".  A tattoo here and there, a beer in their hand at all times.  At first we were so disappointed, because the other couple considering the house when it was for sale was exactly "our type”—you know, clean cut, proper.  As it turns out, our new neighbors are so kind and respectful.
We never get offered adult beverages from them any more, we went out to the lake a few weeks ago, and Diet Coke, and juice boxes were the only beverages offered while we were with them.  They seemed embarrassed when they opened up the cooler and there was an empty beer can sitting in there.  They respect us, and we respect them.  I never believed this would happen like this.  We enjoy them so much, and as much as we like them, they are even more drawn to us.  It's rare I come home from work and she is not sitting on our sofa, or at our dinner table talking about cooking, or TV shows, or even Church, while our girls play together.  Her husband is also very kind and generous.
Amy invites them to all of her functions with our church friends.  They very much enjoy our church friends and frequently mention how nice they are.  Be encouraged that your flock has a pretty good rep outside of the church walls.
I told Amy, this is it—“Purpose Driven Life.”  Neither of us believed that we would arrive at where we are right now.  It's so crazy right now there are evenings we just say I would like to have a day alone.  It can be exhausting hosting people every day.  However, by morning it seems we have the strength to go at it again.  Not all of the couples know each other; Amy is the common thread right now.  They are all slowly getting to know each other, and with that I think that the opportunity will only increase.
Sorry to bend your ear, this just scratches the surface of our situation, but thought you may want to know of these developments.  Keep them in your prayer life.  I don't know what to do, or where this goes from here.  We are just in day at a time mode.  We are open to any type of advice, because we do not know the next step.
Right now we are just in “pray and live life” mode.  Hopefully we will see the next opportunity when it presents itself.

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