Today's post was written by Kylie DeLoach. Kylie is wife to Ben and a homeschooling mother of 4 (Carter, 9; Caden, 8; Isabel, 5; Cannon, 16 months).

Our family has been living in East Lake for two years. We get questions all the time about where we have chosen to raise our family and how we live out the gospel daily. So I thought it may be beneficial to give you a few of the questions we are frequently asked with some answers.

First, a little about East Lake. East Lake is located a few miles east of Downtown Birmingham. It is an area where many people live in poverty. The school system doesn't have very good scores, and our zip code is the most burglarized in the state with one of the highest crime rates. It is also the largest neighborhood in Birmingham. But the neighborhood is changing, and there are some great people here. Some have lived in the neighborhood for 50 years, and they have seen all the bad and all the good. Some of them have been praying.

1. Are you ever scared living where you live?

I can honestly say I have never been scared. Currently, we live on a dead-end street, and most of our neighbors are home owners (where safety is concerned, this matters). There are certain areas that I do not go by myself, and most of the time you will not find me out after dark. I have seen and heard of some scary things, but by God's grace, I have not been afraid.

2. Your kids don't go to school over they!?!

No, we home school. We made the decision to homeschool before we moved into East Lake. There was an uncertainty about when our house in Chelsea would sell, where exactly we would be moving, and the timing of it all. I will confess that making the decision to move here did make it easier to choose to homeschool our kids. Now in our third year homeschooling, even if we lived in a "good" school district, we would still homeschool. I treasure this time with my little ones, and it has opened an amazing door to minister to the family across the street.

3. What exactly is your ministry in East Lake?

We started a church plant from Brook Hills called The Church At South East Lake. We do not have a building; we meet in our homes. Yes, a house church. Currently, we have two churches that meet on Sunday morning, and we have around 50 members. Our church is made up of people who moved from other areas of Birmingham as well as some of our neighbors.

4. How does your church minister to the community?

Since everyone in our church lives in the same community, we all try to build relationships with our neighbors. We live life with them and share the gospel directly though teaching and conversation and indirectly through modeling what it looks like to follow Christ every day.

5. Do you miss living on the 280 side of town?

Yes, there are days that I do. However, I think what I actually miss are my friends. Living here makes it difficult to stay connected with them, and my life is not as intertwined with them anymore. But I am also so grateful for the new friendships that I have made in East Lake.

6. What does a normal week look like for you?

My normal week is totally different than anyone else in the church. I homeschool 3 of my 4 children (the 4th is 16 mo. old), so most of my week is focused on teaching and discipling them. But to be intentional about sharing the gospel with neighbors, I know to make sure to water my flowers early in the morning so I can visit with my elderly widow neighbor that only comes outside in the mornings. One day a week after school hours, I teach the Jesus Storybook Bible, through Discovery Clubs, to 3rd grade girls at Robinson Elementary. I also tutor the 7th grader across the street and help her with different school projects (as well as teaching her mom how to help her daughter instead of relying on me to always help).

7. How can my family / small group help serve alongside The Church At South East Lake?

I wish I could give you a list, but our church is not about programs. We don't have much going on that individuals or groups can come and help with. We live life with our neighbors, so at 7:00pm on a Tuesday night when I have a knock on my door from the girl across the street asking for help making a solar system (which, yes, should have been at 3:15pm not 7:00pm - had to make that a teachable moment), that's what our life and church looks like for now.

The Elders at our church wrestle with this constantly. It would be easy to create a lot of social programs and ministries, but we've lived that in other churches. Eventually, the program itself ends up distracting from true ministry and true friendships. So for now we busy ourselves with skipping the programs and going right for the relationship.

What you can do is pray. Pray for the relationships our church has with our neighbors. Pray for our wisdom in ministering here. Pray about your family and how you can share the gospel with your own neighbors.

8. Why did you guys move to East Lake instead of just staying in Chelsea and driving over there to minister? It's only a 30 minute drive, right?

It's so much easier to live where you minister and minister where you live. When I get a phone call from a neighbor living in poverty who needs something, say a flashlight because her power got turned off (true example), it's much better for me to drive 5 minutes than 30. We also get much more trust and respect from people because we live in the same neighborhood. Cultures of poverty are very suspicious of outsiders. I don't just consider this a ministry that we are doing, its not something that I put on a to do list - go share Christ with the poor. This is my life. It's a life where my goal is to live in a way that communicates the gospel in word and action.

My first response when my husband and I talked about moving here was "I'm comfortable where we are." Then the Lord showed me Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?" Talk about being uncomfortable! My comfort is in Christ and that makes East Lake a great place to be.

For more information about The Church at South East Lake, visit this site.