Run in with the Law

The interns here at Kensington do M games. M-games, in short, are short challenges meant to expand your community to include more people who aren’t regular attenders of church or believers in God. You set up weekly challenges to meet these people and reach out to them in some way.

My goal was a guy named Clarence. Clarence is a blue-collar kind of guy who has been an immense help in helping get this house in working order. He has been replacing pipes, fixing walls and other odds and ends around here since we moved in. Clarence loves Phillie cigars.

M-Challenges are one-week challenges and this past week has been really busy. I walked in to my house on Wednesday night and looked at my schedule. Thursday and Friday I was busy with the conference, Saturday I was going to be at the Iron Street block party all day and Sunday I was going to be at church and then leave for a three day retreat for the interns. Wednesday night was going to be my first chance in the upcoming week to go buy cigars for Clarence.

I had sat down on the couch. It was about 11:00 and I was wiped out, but it had to get done so I pulled myself up and walked back out the door. I went to a couple of gas stations in my area, all pretty sketchy looking– the kind where the Arab attendant stands behind bullet proof glass, but none of them had any Phillie cigars (this should not be suprizing since Phillies are commonly used for smoking pot, hence “Phillie Blunt”). But my search continued.

I pull into another gas station and walk in. Again, no Phillies. Walking out I see that a shady car has blocked my car in. Climbing out of the car, three cops. These aren’t typical cops in their blues. These were the kind of cops who wear jerseys with their badges hanging out on a necklace.

“Do you own this gas station?” A large black cop asked.

“No…?” I said.

“Are you a manager?” He asked.


“Are you a drug dealer?”

“Excuse me?”

“Are you a drug dealer?” he said louder.


“Do you mind if we search your car?” asked a tall woman who reminded me of CJ Craig.

“No, why?”

“Here is the deal. You have the nicest car within two miles of this gas station. You have out-of-state out-of-date tags. You’re white. You pull up in here and walk into this gas station like it’s no big deal. No one messes with you or says anything to you. That just looks suspicious to us.”

They rifled through my car a little bit but don’t find any drugs.

“So what’s your deal? What are you doing in Detroit?”

“I just moved here.”

“You moved here? Why?”

“I am working in the Harbortown, Midtown areas starting churches.”

“You moved here from Arkansas to start churches?”


“Do you live out in the suburbs?”

“No I live on the corner of Longfellow and Byron.”

“You live two blocks from here?”


The conversation went on like this for a while. They were shocked and bewildered at why in the world I would want to move here, why I would want to come to this neighborhood and why I would be out at this time of night to find the guy who fixes my pipes a box of cigars.

I ended up driving up to Troy and getting a box from Meijer, getting home around 1:00 in the morning.

Mission Complete!


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About coleyoakum

My name is Coleman Yoakum. I am formerly a student at Harding University. Today you can find me in Detroit Michigan doing what I can to expand the Kingdom of God and preparing to start an intentional community in Pontiac. I enjoy reading, writing, photography, music and politics. I am sure that all of these things will find their way to this blog from time to time. Twitter: coleyoakum Facebook: Coleman Yoakum Email: Flickr:

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