Rachel Adesina took it as a sign when she flew from Germany to thank a Huntersville church for bringing her closer to God, but instead chanced three times upon a mobile home community off McCoy Road.
Now she intends to live in the 350-home Huntington Green community so she can minister full time to residents there.
Adesina, 32, must first return to Germany on April 6, because her 90-day tourist visa will be up. But she's confident she'll one day be back.
Adesina works for a marketing and research firm in Cologne, but her passion is developing her "Huntington Green in Motion" ministry.
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"When I'm here finally, I want to be a catalyst for getting people to Christ," she told me recently at a community building in Huntington Green.
During her latest stay, Adesina has assisted local churches and organizations in various outreach efforts at Huntington Green, including after-school tutoring on Tuesdays and a "Mommy and Me" program on Wednesdays.
Her first trip to Huntersville came in November 2008, to find Lake Forest Church on Gilead Road.
Adesina said she was raised a Christian in Germany but at age 12 turned away from God. She had been sexually abused, she said.
Soap operas on TV became more important to her when she was 12, particularly "Santa Barbara" and one of its stars, Marcy Walker, the same Marcy Walker Smith who is now children's director at Lake Forest.
In 2007, Adesina read a Charlotte Observer article on the Internet about Smith and her spiritual journey. "It has been so impressive to me that she has given up her life to God," Adesina said.
Adesina then went to Lake Forest's Web site, where a video by lead pastor Mike Moses returned her to Christ, she said.
But instead of leading her to the church on that first visit, public buses kept taking her past Huntington Green, "and my heart became instantly broken for it," she said. "It was not on my schedule, and I, all of a sudden, had a strong impression to pray for this community."
During her latest of three stays, Adesina has lived with members of Lake Forest and Ardent Faith Christian Fellowship churches.
She also partners with such church workers as missionary Anne Crawford from Christ Community Church in Huntersville to assist Huntington Green residents.
And she scheduled a "Prayer Walk for Huntington Green" Saturday that was to include members of a Presbyterian, a Baptist and a nondenominational church. Her intent was partly to show residents that the faith community "is one big family."
Last week, I accompanied Adesina and Crawford on one of their regular visits to Angie Prado, 20, who lives in Huntington Green with her husband and their three young children.
Adesina and Crawford have found cleaning jobs for Prado, who said both she and her husband have been unemployed since losing their jobs. She worked for a cleaning service and he with a painting company.
"She's really a great person," Prado said of Adesina. "She's happy to help people. Hopefully she can come back."
Adesina already has laid out a full agenda for when she does return.
She wants to help start job-training classes, Bible courses and English classes for those who primarily speak Spanish in Huntington Green. She wants to establish GED classes for young adults who didn't graduate high school.
Needs are great in Germany, too, she said, but that's not where she's been called to minister.
"I would probably do it in Germany, too," Adesina said. But God, she said, has put ministering to people in need here in her heart.