The sun shone and a slight breeze curled around downtown Greenville two weeks ago. We strolled down familiar Main Street as businesses were opening up and getting prepped for the weekend.
A quick peek at the old Carpenter Brother’s building brought back a flood of memories, so we decided to descend the stairs of the basement shop. Carpenter’s Cellar, a local Christian coffee shop, was where we rented to host our Sunday night worship service for our church start-up called ReaLity.
As I descended the stairs, I noticed how the newly remodeled boutique made this basement seem light and fresh. One element which remained the same, however, was the little white octagon shaped tiles covering most of the floor. I remembered mopping those tiles many times after our services.
Only seconds passed as we entered our old church space when the new owner of the boutique greeted us.
“Hi! Can I help you?” she said with a smile of anticipation.
“I love what you have done with this space,” I replied as I glanced around and the rest of the family stepped down into the basement shop. “We used to have a church that met down here back in the early 2000’s, and I just wanted to see what was happening here now.”
A look of astonishment held her attention and she asked us to clarify the dates of when our church used this space. Then she began to unfold a story I will cling to ’till my memory fades.
“Two months after I opened this boutique, a scruffy gentlemen came down the steps and entered the shop,” she began explaining. “I was a bit nervous as this is a woman’s clothing shop, but I asked if there was something I could help him with.”
He responded, “I was curious if there was a church that still meets down here on Sundays?”
I answered questioningly, “No. Not currently.”
Staring at one particular spot on the white tile floor and pointing with his finger, he shared, “You see that spot right there on the floor? That’s where I gave my heart to Jesus.”
She then proceeded to tell us, “I teared up and took a moment to pray with this man before he left back up the stairs to Main Street. I was truly overwhelmed. I didn’t know a church had used this space.”
Hearing this man’s experience brought back a flood of memories. I thought about the countless prayer meetings, sermons, songs sung, and fellowship which took place in that space every week. I also wondered who this person might have been, but then I was quickly reminded, it doesn’t matter. What really matters is someone met Jesus while we were there!
The new boutique is called Negozio A Local Shop and is owned by Hannah Green. Before we left our new friend, we prayed with her over her new business, asking the Lord for His blessings to be abundant! We’ve always thought that space was holy ground, and we pray it continues to be for Hannah.
What a surprise for us and a story we’ll cherish.
Our time in SC/NC was definitely short but sweet. It was especially nice to have time with our parents. It’s hard living so far away from them, so we cherish any time we can be together.
As we’ve reflected on our time in the Carolinas, we are convinced we need your prayer support. I spoke on Sunday at Vine of the Mountains, and since then a phrase has stuck with us from Ephesians 6, “… the strategies of the Devil.” It is very evident to us that Satan is continually strategizing to discourage, deceive, and destroy. One weapon we can use against him TOGETHER is prayer. (Listen to the podcast click here)
Prayer for our family and work here at YWAM Tyler really matters! We daily face challenges that only God can sort out in our lives. That same passage in Ephesians 6 emphasizes the importance of “being strong in the Lord.” Please continue to pray this for us.
Thank you for willingly choosing to be a part of our lives and ministry. TOGETHER we are going and making disciples. It was so good to see many of you during our visit, and we are already prayerfully looking to a longer time this summer to return for more face to face time.
You are loved!
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