On the first day of classes, sophomore year, I was sitting in IUPUI’s largest lecture hall surrounded by over 400 students waiting for an Inorganic Chemistry lecture to begin. At the time, I was living in the IUPUI campus apartments and was an extended member of the women’s household in the Triangle. As I waited, I noticed someone I had met several years ago waving at me from across the room. Despite the large class, she managed to pick me out of the crowd and I motioned for her to sit by me. We exchanged a few words and class began. The minute class ended, she immediately asked if we could talk longer. I invited her to come over to my apartment and she willingly accepted the invitation. While we walked toward the apartments, she told me about several exceedingly challenging situations in her life including faith crises, difficult relationships, a less than ideal living situation, and battles with previous addictions. As she talked, we entered my empty apartment, (my one roommate had classes all day) and I offered her a late breakfast. “Do you want one or two eggs?” I asked. “Two please!” she said quickly. I scrambled the eggs and put them on a plate, thinking we would sit down together at my kitchen table to continue the conversation. “Where do you keep your forks?” she asked in a hurried manner. I handed her a fork and she proceeded to rapidly eat the eggs right off the plate on my kitchen counter. “Do you want toast and cantaloupe to go with your eggs?” I asked, realizing how hungry she was. Two pieces of toast, several slices of cantaloupe, and an hour of conversation later, I asked if I could pray with her. She agreed and I prayed with her begging Lord to move in power in all areas of her life. After the prayer, with a word of thanks, she headed on her way and I haven’t seen or heard from her since.
Fast forward one year, I was in my first Physiology lab at the start of my junior year. At this point, I had been living in household in the Triangle for several months. As I found my seat in the front row of the lab, I met my Physiology lab partner, Sharon. Throughout the course of working together, I shared my life in household and in the People of Praise with her. I told her about my friendships with each of my incredible sisters in household. I invited her over for dinner on numerous occasions, but due to scheduling conflicts, she wasn’t able to accept any of my invitations until a month and a half after the end of that semester.
The planned day for Sharon to join our household for dinner arrived. That day, due to a lengthy and challenging meeting with an advisor, I found myself still on campus at 6:30pm, 15 minutes past the start of our dinner! I rushed home and sheepishly walked in the door. To my delight, I found Sharon sitting at our table, eating, laughing, and having a great conversation with the rest of my household, the majority of whom she had never seen before! My household had welcomed her and made her feel right at home. That night, Sharon met the Lord in all of the women in my household. After dinner, she asked for a tour of our house. As we walked through each room, Sharon was amazed by how each clean and organized area was suited to putting our studies and free time in common. During that tour, Sharon met the Lord in the order of each of the spaces in our home. Sharon and I continue to stay in contact to this day.
While living in the apartments on campus, I kept asking the Lord for more. Lord, how can I more fully share your love with the women I meet on campus? In a word, my prayer has been answered through household life. The Lord’s great love for the world is revealed in our real friendships, our ordered homes, and the freedom and purpose we share in Christ. Christian community lived out in our People of Praise households creates an environment for meeting the Lord face to face. Thank you Father for life in household!