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Faith of A Mustard Seed

by Barbara Woods-Washington

Barbara Woods Washington

Barbara Woods-Washington

I was born in Cleveland, OH where my mother, as head of the household, at one time during my children cared for seven of her own children; six grandchildren; her mother; a sister and her husband and two children; a niece and her three children. Count them, that makes 23 family members all living on the 2nd floor (and attic) of a two-family house. As an elementary school student, my responsibilities as my grandmother’s ‘right hand’ in the daily provisions for the babies, gave rise to a powerful mission in ministry to children.

In the spring of this year, I was invited to talk to the children of the Andrew Jackson Public Housing Community in a program called “Bus Stop Strong”. In preparation, I copied the Text: “And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make your free.” and attached the Verse to Tootsie Roll Pops as a treat to attest to the sweetness of this Word. I found a group of children who were attentive to every word as I transmitted the concept of “Truth” to them through visual interaction. We dialogued on this saying: “The only people who are mad at you for speaking the Truth are those people who are living a Lie.”. And on this saying: “Nothing better than listening to a Lie when you already know the Truth”… (that Discernment Power’ thang). And finally, the knowing that living their truth, walking in their truth is basic to them never being Prison bound as ‘their Freedom DEPENDS upon their Truth’.

After having put proposals in front of several Pastors to do Children’s and Youth Ministries during my now 25 years living in Nashville as a Master of Divinity, it had not come into fruition. Within a couple of days, I realized that I had just been ‘called’ into the most powerful ministry to children that I had witnessed in many, many, many years… Ms. Brenda and her “Bus Stop Strong” after school, NO, BEFORE and after-school program in that she began this program at the ‘Bus Stop” in the morning and during the now Six Years, the doors of the Andrew Jackson Community Center had been opened for her to shelter, feed, love, care, encourage, tutor and more —the children of Andrew Jackson when she met them at the bus stop returning from school.

My second invitation, after being told that ‘the children asked when I was coming back” gave me a purpose for the concept “Innocence”. In preparation, just as before, I copied the Text: “I will maintain my innocence, and never let go of it.” and attached the Verse to the Pops. But, upon arrival, I saw no children. I was met by Two adults who began a series of questions when I entered, making the demand that I complete their paperwork in order to be in the bldg. As I sat down across the room I explained that I was here by invitation of Ms. Brenda and that as soon as she arrived I would comply. They persisted and told me that I would have to leave if I did not do what they asked. I told them again that I was not here for them. They threatened to call the Police to have me removed. In my confusion over what was happening, I deemed it necessary for me to… walk away.

What followed was a series of what I will only name ‘legion’… actions on the part of some principalities that have now successfully shut down a program that MUST FUNCTION… WITH the support of, what I believe to be… the entire Nashville community. My attempts to walk away is… my stumbling! I am now more than ever determined to deliver my 2nd word of life to the children of the Andrew Jackson “Bus Stop Strong” program.

WHEN this program is restored to the Children of the Andrew Jackson Public Housing community, I invite you to stop by and see for yourself. But when you come, BRING SOMETHING with you that will contribute to the edification of the life of this program… your gold, your frankincense, your Myrrh.

by email: mustardseedfaith@outlook.com

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