Kristin Schell discovered the value of community during a summer immersion program in France. Although she was a stranger in a foreign land, she had never felt so welcomed, loved, and connected before – and she couldn’t even understand the language. Many European countries are like France: community takes place around the table. Family and friends join together to celebrate food, life, and each other.
That sense of community came back to Kristin years later. By then she was a wife and a mom who spent more time with her children in her minivan than she did around the kitchen table or the fire pit talking about life and God.
One weekend, in preparation for a backyard barbecue, Kristin ordered a picnic table. When it arrived, the deliverymen set the heavy, wooden table in the front yard beneath a magnolia tree. That’s when Kristin got an idea. What if her table became like the village well of olden times, a meeting place where no one was pressured to cook, clean, or to entertain – just to be neighborly?
Kristin painted the table turquoise and sat there with some paperwork to keep her busy. It didn’t take long for a neighbor passing by to stop and strike up a conversation. Soon, other neighbors began stopping by.
What started as a simple “hello” to the people who passed by became an open door for Kristin and her husband to come alongside and serve those same people when they went through a divorce, struggled with an illness, or worried for prodigal children.
Life is hard. Sooner or later, trouble comes to every family in every neighborhood. For Kristin, the turquoise table became a way to communicate God’s love.
It’s easy for you and me to drive in and out of our garages and never get to know the family right next door. We hide. “Undercover Christianity” minimizes what the Lord can do through us in our neighborhoods to touch people in His name.
I hope you’ll join us for my conversation with Kristin Schell on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Going on Mission in Your Front Yard” She shares humorous, fun, and inspiring stories that will equip you to have an impact for Christ on the people around you. Tune in on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or take us with you on our free phone app.
Even if you can’t or don’t want a turquoise table in your front yard, Kristin’s book, The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard, offers practical ways to reach out that won’t overwhelm you but that will richly reward you in terms of relationships and friendships. Her book is available for a gift of any amount from our website or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
Thank you for your prayerful and financial support. It enables us to touch families each and every day.