January has officially come and gone. As Cole says, “Ash, you really only two seasons: almost Christmas which culminates at Christmas and almost summer which culminate in June, July, August and part of September”.
Guilty, as charged. We’re done with the “almost Christmas”, Christmas, and were now in “almost summer”. I suppose many of you are wondering what were up to, after we completely bawled our eyes out writing our last post in November.
In just under 3 weeks, our friends, family and even complete strangers came together and provided us with such abundance-we do not even know how to thank you all, most donated anonymously SO THANK YOU! We were able to raise enough funds to cover all moving expenses, deposits, and rent for the first month. We are extremely grateful for your generosity.
We officially moved into our new Casa de Chaos thanksgiving weekend. Oh, whats that you say? “wasn’t that the coldest weekend in the PNW and the only day it has snowed?!” Why yes, yes it was. But, we moved anyway with the help of our truest and dearest friends (who else shows up for that?).
We LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE our new place. We may still be in the “honeymoon” phase of living here, but so far we have all the items on our “must-have” list. A driveway, bathroom on the main level, open floor plan for hosting, PARKING (hello!), a yard and a neighborhood where our kids can ride bikes, or go on a walk and I’m not loosing my brains worrying about them being run over. (Well, I may still freak a little).
And extra bonus: a fireplace. We’ve NEVER had a fireplace in our lives.
Every time we fire that baby up, we stand around in awe that fire can be present in a home without actually burning things down. (Okay, completely just joking, but it is awesome ambiance).
Our home has already had quite a few miles logged into the “EVENT” bracket. We hosted the girls’ bday party, a fondue night with our small group, multiple get togethers, a planning session for the future of our small group and a few other events I’ll share about it a minute. (Keep Reading).
In December, our neighbors didn’t know the chaos that was coming-we welcomed ourselves to the neighborhood with cookies, treats and Christmas cards. While our neighborhood seems to be a little fragmented, each of our neighbors welcomed us warmly and invited us into their homes.
We also welcomed a new member to our family. Good ole’ St. Nicholas brought our family a new puppy, Miss Merci Mae. She is adorable, and naughty and my hubby swears he will never be convinced to get a puppy again. Taking her on walks in our neighborhood, has become a great tool to meet new neighbors and have a great presence in our community. Also, please add Merci being successful at potty training to the list of “prayer requests” needed at the Chambers home-nothing says “welcome to our home” like a puppy “gift”….I’m totally off topic now….
So what’s new with ministry stuff? Glad you asked…
In December, one of our hosting events was a small group vision casting meeting. We wanted to give our small group we have served with over the last few years the formal invitation to join us as we experiment through what “church” might look like. More or less, we were asking for them be apprentices with us and learn, in the hopes that they will join our core-team for church planting in a year. Cole and I prayed for just one family to say, “We may possibly join your core group, but we aren’t sure so can we apprentice with you and find out”. We had amazing response and had one family commit to being core members, and 3 other families commit to be apprentices.
Part of our heart in our church plant, but also a big part of our Casa de Chaos mission, is to be a part of each of our neighborhoods, community, and areas we are already in and allow our homes to be welcome centers. Our group hosted a taco friday fun night. About 6-8 friends and 6 neighbors came together to have a fiesta (aka play charades) and eat tacos <—- that was the point right?!
Additionally, as a group we partnered alongside a local Headstart site located in an urban subsidized family housing development community center and hosted a Family Fun Night. Our group brought in pizza, the Tacoma twister (balloon artist), and played games including Feed the Woozle and a Tenzi Tournament (the winner brought home a family movie night basket with lots of free redbox codes). According to the 5 families in attendance, the family advocate and the teacher, the night was a major success and the parents and kids feel better connected to their community. (Please note: Due to privacy, We are unable to post pics of these events)
Our current prayer/physical needs include:
We are looking for 2 additional or more committed core group members to join us by March and be a part of church planting boot camp. Pray for the right two people who see the vision, believe in urban missioning (I’m making a new word), and who have a heart for THIS city in all its gritty beauty.
We would LOVE one of the future joining core group members to have some sort of amazing musical talent because some hand bell and basic elementary clarinet and saxophone experience may not cut it long term..I’m just sayin’…pray for like guitar or piano and passion for leading worship…sort of important items on that list.
As were looking ahead at “almost summer”, we would love to do some worship and/or backyard movie nights and are in need of one to two projectors, small sound device that can be used for audio at a movie night and somewhat portable for smaller community events (like the Family Game Night). They can definitely be used items.
We have been having car trouble lately, and are getting the vehicle assessed by a mechanic as to what needs to be done both now and over the next year/long term. Pray for affordability of repairs or for a reliable car that seats 7+ to fall out of the sky (one can pray for that right?).
Pray for us, for our team, spending time in service to others, and being a part of the dark places is exciting but also tiring. We would love to be covered in the prayers as we head out into our city.
Most importantly, pray that God would keep filling, leading, guiding and directing and that we would be reflections of Him throughout everything we do. That we would lead others to learn, grow deeper, and live an abundant life in Christ even in the midst of all the chaos.
Thank you for taking time to read and for being a part of our ministry as we learn, develop and apprentice in leadership to God’s people and as we serve our city. If you would like to chat more in depth about our vision, events we’re hosting, joining as a funding partner, or to possibly join as apprentice or core group member please send a private message or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cole, Ashley, and the fantastic four
*fondue night picture credit goes to Ginger