The Journey Together

What Dreams Can We Realize Together?

Ian North

What Dreams Can We Realize Together?

What dream can you realize with the Presencia Family? Twelve years ago, I had a dream that in our new life in Atlanta, I could be part of uniting “Christians, artists, and immigrants to do good work in the Buford Highway neighborhood.” While that was a great vision, I had no idea how to make it a reality. I held it in my heart and got to work supporting our family and building relationships with our neighbors. I worked at a series of other jobs, building skills and relationships while Ruthie took lead on forming what would become Presencia. I...

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Presencia is a Place Where Love Lives

Ian North

Presencia is a Place Where Love Lives

I walked into the Presencia apartment on Friday afternoon with Thursday’s events still rattling through my mind. If you read last week’s blog post, you know that our staff witnessed some weird noises, doors opening, and lights turning on without any visible cause. They felt rattled by the experience and reluctant to come back to work. I promised that I’d show up, feel the place out, and spend some time in prayer there. While I walked through the living room, the dining room, and the reading room, an unexpected feeling swept through me. I didn’t feel spooked or chilled. I...

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Something Went Bump In the Night

Ian North

Something Went Bump In the Night

Yesterday, during Presencia’s after-school program, I heard a knock on the door, opened it immediately, and looked out into an empty hallway. I closed the door and returned to cooking spaghetti for our students, and I didn’t think about the incident again until Jeniffer, our assistant manager, called later at night, sounding breathless and a little shaky. She said that a few more knocks had occurred during the day, and that the staff had felt growing concern each time they opened the door and didn’t see anyone there or hear any footsteps retreating down the hallway. One of our staff...

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When We Say Family, We Mean It.

Ian North

When We Say Family, We Mean It.

We got into an argument last week. I saw the first notification on my phone on Thursday night, when one of our staff confronted another about something that someone said. Over the next few hours, as I was trying to wind down and get some sleep, the conflict escalated. My phone lit up with new messages as our staff argued about what went wrong, who was to blame, and how to deal with the problem. Finally, late into the night, they called for a staff meeting as soon as possible. Initially, the conflict bothered me. We’re a team of neighbors...

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Marco is Off to College!

Ian North

Marco is Off to College!

I first met Marco when he began volunteering at Presencia during his freshman year of high school. In a community where gifted students usually aim at jobs as doctors and lawyers, Marco wanted to teach literature and make music.  I was surprised to meet a high school student who read authors like Joyce Carol Oates and Sam Shepard, played songs by The Strokes on guitar, and wrote poetry. Marco joined the Presencia team as a mentor, and he began attending our church, where he joined the music team. As Ruthie and I got to know him, heard his story, and saw...

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