Take Ownership of Your Community

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RachellDear Family of our Lord Jesus Christ,

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WOW! We are praising God for all of you…..Isaac sent me a notice late yesterday that in the last 30 days FGGAM.ORG has reached over a half-million readers! Only God! All God! Thank you to all our readers and volunteer writers! We praise God for all of you! Pretty cool for a ministry that operates out of my man cave at home! LOL! LOL! LOL! Only God! By the way, the man cave is surrounded by yellow tape, enter at your own risk!!!!

Today I bring you such a moving post by Rachel Wilson from my hometown of Windom, Minnesota. Rachel, pictured above,  is the daughter of Dale and Kim Friesen of Windom and is a 2012 graduate of Mt. Lake, Minnesota Christian School. She is now a senior at Bethel University.

This was an Op-Ed piece for The Citizen newspaper in Windom. I thank my Dear freind Dave Fjeld of the Citizen for hooking me up with Rachel.

8/20/14 Believe In Your Small Town is the title………and I will say: Take Ownership of Your Community!

Here is what Rachel has to share with us………

My favorite time of every year is late May when the warmer weather starts to show its face, flowers begin to bloom, and the anticipation for summer is nearly palpable.

Raised in Windom, I now attend a private college in the Twin Cities where I am studying journalism, rhetorical communication, and graphic design. Spending nine months out of the year in the Twin Cities, I attempt to take full advantage of what the metro has to offer, attending concerts, frequenting museums and farmers markets, and scouring vintage and thrift stores regularly.

It goes without saying that the Twin Cities has much to offer young, middle-aged, and older people alike. Internship, job, and entertainment possibilities at my fingertips, and still, I find myself craving my small-town roots.

Because of this, I’ve spent all of my college summers thus far at my parent’s home in Windom. In fact, I denied all work-related and internship opportunities in the Twin Cities this past summer to return to work and live in Windom. Though some coined it crazy, I knew a few months at home is exactly what I needed.

You see, I love Windom. I love talking about Windom. I love dreaming about Windom. I enjoy small town life. I enjoy seeing cars on the town-square and windows lit up with lights and smiling faces. I believe in small business. I believe in community pride. I adore my friends here in Windom—a group of creative, progressive, intelligent folk who embrace rural life. I adore the quaintness and closeness small-town life allows. And though society may contend that small towns are dying out, I think it’s the perfect time to grow our roots deeper, spread our wings farther, and cultivate a community that defies all the odds.

I write this as an encouragement to the community of Windom to cling to their small-town roots while allowing space for growth. Allow space for people to be creative. Allow space for people and things to entertain ideas and evolve. Allow space for people to dream aloud. Allow space for people to be vulnerable. Allow space for people to see the beauty of small-town life. Most importantly, allow space for people to realize that there is such a thing as a legitimate rural existence, and it is a beautiful thing.

Not all rural lives look the same. We need farmers, teachers, bankers, machinists, small-business owners, artists and so many more. But we all play a role in contributing our little, but significant piece to the community of Windom. I challenge you to continue to take pride in your small town. I challenge you to take ownership of this community and cling to the small-town roots that make Windom unique, while reaching beyond. I challenge you to dream alongside your neighbor and be the positive change in this community.

Surely, it was important that I go away (I’d recommend to almost anyone), but it may be even more important that I return someday. And I’m not alone. Countless young folk like me have an aching desire to return to small town America, but these communities cannot remain stagnant and expect to persist as a legitimate option for a younger population. I’m proud to call Windom home, and I care deeply about Windom’s success. It is a collective, community effort. Believe in your small-town and believe you alone are the difference.

Thank you so much Rachel! What a blessing, it’s just how I feel about my hometown and the ministry of FGGAM,  my neighborhood and city and state. It also is a message for the Church. I love going to Reserve, New Mexico to preach, the people stick together, they believe in God, their Church, the body of Christ and the entire community of Reserve and Catron County. They are a shining light! Let’s take this message by Rachel and carry it with us into our neighborhoods, place of work, towns and cities and into our Churches! And all of God’s people said, AMEN! Let us all take the responsibility!

Sunrise was at 6:44am today in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Before my wife Sharon left for work she took this picture? What do you see? I see the cross! “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14 Our motto here at FGGAM is: For God’s Glory Alone Ministries bringing the light of Jesus Christ to the world one person at a time. Sunrise Cross

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