Thursday, March 22, 2007

Where to live?

After much research by my wonderful wife looking at schools, areas, prices, etc, we had really two options on where to live in Little Rock.

Option 1 - A nice but affordable rental town home in a fancy mostly white neighborhood just down the street from Fulbright, the 90% white best school in Little Rock. We were shown around the school by a volunteering grandmother. We asked her... "We hear this is the best school in town... what do you think?" She snootily answered, "Why do you think my grandson is here?"

Option 2 - A comfortable, affordable rental house near my parents in Otter Creek with a backyard that backs up to the playground of Otter Creek Elementary. Otter Creek's school test scores are pretty low compared to that of Fulbright. The school and surrounding area are increasingly diverse.

As much as we liked Fulbright from a pure education standpoint, it just wasn't us. It's not that we don't want to give our kids every opportunity to succeed. We just don't think a fancy, uni-racial, educational powerhouse approach is needed to foster the version of success we desire for our kids.

When we told our 8 year old daughter that Fulbright is 90% white, she said quickly and with her own conviction, "That's not good." We don't want to force the work of multi-ethnic ministry on our kids. But, I think they are already catching the dream anyway.

Another meaningful moment on our house-hunting day was at Popeye's Chicken near the fancy Fulbright school area. Thankfully, some have the ministry of reaching and helping the well-dressed businessman who was eating there. Our hearts, though, are to encourage, raise up, and minister to the girl behind the counter who probably drove in a ways to make 6 dollars an hour ringing up chicken orders.

We picked Otter Creek. It's the place we belong. It's not intense diversity culture shock, but enough diversity to stretch us. It seems to us personally that we have to immerse increasingly with all people in both life and school to feel like we are doing what we are called to do with multi-ethnic ministry.


grant... said...

otter creek is a great place man...

not far from where i live!

Gwen said...

Awesome Allen, just awesome. It is so much fun to be able to watch your adventure unfolding. I'm so excited!

Anonymous said...

Good movement along this continuum. With your obedience to your calling, God will impress a multi-ethnic ministry back on you guys too. It's a partnership.

God bless you.