Pareja Update: Family, Job & Hood Stuff

 Homebuilders: An update from Will and Rachel below for your reading and prayers:

pareja-1.jpgWill in Monterrey teaching

We officially left the Motown area on April 17th.  Will’s parents graciously allowed us to stay in the upper flat until we found a place to stay in the city, which turned out to be a whole lot more complicated than we first imagined. Will commuted into the south side of the city of Chicago every day w/ his dad for 3 months before our actual move into our own place. If you’ve ever been in Chicago during traffic (is there any other time??), it can be brutally time consuming. So traveling was at least a 2 hour+ adventure everyday.  After many hours of online house searching and trips into the city, we finally found a place to live in the city that met our criteria for family, budget and ministry. For those who may be unfamiliar with living in a large metropolitan area, we actually live in the city of Chicago—not the suburbs. Chicago is comprised roughly of 77 neighborhoods. We live in a neighborhood called Tri-Taylor, just 5 minutes west of the loop. We live on the bottom floor of a four-story apt building; thankfully, we occupy the ground level unit. For city dwellers, it is a strategically ideal location with bus and train stations all within walking distance (and this time only a 20 minute ride via public transportation to Will’ work). We are minutes walk from the University of Illinois-Chicago campus, 2 train stops from Greektown (which is about 4 blocks long; no casinos yet, sorry!). We are just about 2-3 minutes drive from the United Center (that’s where we would go for the Bulls, Blackhawks, and the BJU musical concerts =+) and also a few minutes drive (or public transit) from attractive Little Italy (nesting place of the original Chicago mafia(s).       City living is costly, unfortunately. Aside from the cost of housing, parking is hard to come by (and most of the time it costs); also bringing in another vehicle from another state is a hassle, as evidenced by 4 trips to the DMV and lots of paperwork before finally walking away with our Illinois tags. There are a lot of injustices in this city—all the more reason why Christians need to be living in it. There are injustices wherever one goes, but they seem to be especially heightened in the metropolises of our world.     The transition has been difficult to a degree; more so for Rachel than for Will (hey, Rachel’s is on Facebook now). Safety is always a big concern. Though Tri-Taylor is under gentrification now, it still has some rough edges and surrounded by what us “whities” would call “at-risk” communities. It is a highly diverse area with statistics showing one of the local public schools with a 52 % black/48% Hispanic ratio.  We figure Haddon should go to throw off the curve a little:)  B/c of our proximity to the hospitals and university/colleges, we have many medical students and their families living here. From what we observe on our block alone Tri-Taylor is Puerto Rican, Black, White, Oriental, Italian and Indian. I’ve been told the people of Tri-Taylor are very transient, but so are many collegiate neighborhoods.Church Stuff

     We have been attending Holy Trinity Church (no, it’s not Catholic=+). It is a strong, multi-site, gospel-centered church with a passion for urban church planting as evidenced by their 3rd and now a potential 4th congregation being established in differing parts of the city in just 9 years since their inception. It’s a pastoral training center. It’s characterized by Christ-centered worship and vibrant, engaged fellowship. We attend the downtown congregation and are also part of the Westside core team, i.e., we are helping them start their third congregation right in the area in which we live. This past weekend, we participated in a Leadership Community retreat. We were instructed on the rationale behind and the goal of community groups. It was envigorating. In case we do end up planting a church “on our own,” we are gaining invaluable experience in church planting under the leadership of elders in a team setting. We were asked to lead one of the new community groups. That would necessitate our intent of covenanting w/ the church in membership. They have an extensive pastoral internship program which Will would like to jump into soon.

Church planting– Again, we are actively involved in helping Holy Trinity in this new church plant. There are millions in this city without Jesus. Lots of work to go around to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Comission. =+) This seems to be where the Lord has us for now. By God’s grace and mercy, we have been growing in the gospel and our understanding and application of the Scriptures.Prayer Requests

  • For the Spirit to rid us continually of ethnocentric attitudes and overindulgence in our fears.
  • For Will to be sensitive to Rachel’s and kids’ needs and not run them over w/ ministry ambitions. In other words, please pray that the gospel we preach to our community (or try to) would be most well displayed and adorned in our home.
  • For our children, Haddon and Gabrielle, to early on in their lives to come to an overwhelming despair of their sinfulness; Will & Rachel- to be diligent and precise in instructing them in the Scriptures.
  • Personal safety
  • For the community group that is going to be started in our home come mid-September. It is going to be a highly evangelistic effort
  • For us tobe guarded in our hearts and minds from our own self-deception and the lies of the Deceiver.  

We love and miss all of you. Grace and Peace,

Will, Rachel, Haddon and Gabrielle Pareja

2332 W. Harrison Ave., #1

Chicago, IL 60612

312.226.0180 (home)

313.300.7366 (Rachel cell)

773.510.5512 (Will cell)

Buzz lite yr (Haddon’s cell)

colorful bugs and chewy fone (Gabrielle’s cell)

willrachelpareja@aol.com (our email mostly checked by Rachel)


3 Responses to “Pareja Update: Family, Job & Hood Stuff”

  1. September 13, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks for the update, brother. I will encourage its reading among the class.

  2. 2 Will Pareja
    September 18, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    the 2nd picture is of the theology students down in Monterrey where we used to live. they are all new since our being there, but Will got to teach a class on James their first week of classes. the students are from spain, mexico and south america.

  3. 3 Paul Sherf
    October 17, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for the update Will. It’s a month later, but I’ll encourage our care group to read the update and keep you in our prayers.

    – Paul

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