The French Quarter

An Update From The Lytles
03/25/2010

Christopher & Leanne Lytle

P.O. Box 850722 New Orleans, LA 70185

topher.lytle@gmail.com
leaanelytle@gmail.com

www.enterthecenter.org

Location, Location, location…
The question that some have asked us (and we have asked ourselves) is, “Why the French Quarter?”  To answer that question, we first have to take a quick look at the French Quarter’s past and present.

The past

The French Quarter of New Orleans is quite literally the oldest neighborhood in the nation.  It was founded by the French in 1718, and over the course of the next eighty years, passed hands to Spain, then back to France again until finally sold to the U.S. in the Louisiana Purchase.

This 78 square block neighborhood has always been the center of activity for the city.  After the Civil War, during the Reconstruction period, the city expanded further and further outside of The Quarter to include towns on the other side of the Mississippi River as well as farther up the River.

The Quarter itself has survived numerous city-wide floods, political and military opposition and it’s own corrupted government officials.  After the oil bust of the 1980’s, The French Quarter continued to be a central hub for tourism and industry, and since then, tourism has been the city’s number one source of revenue.

The present

Today the French Quarter is filled with restaurants, antique shops, boutique hotels, museums, bars, lounges, dance halls, strip clubs, museums, and roughly 5,000 residents.

The French Quarter is living history.  It is fun, interesting, and exciting.  It is a place where a breeze from the Mississippi cools you off as you enjoy the sounds of jazz and blues drifting from almost every open door.   On any given street you can find shop owners and locals who take much pride in the cuisine, history, music and arts of their town.

Yet there is an ugly side to the city.  On any given day, you could walk down Bourbon Street and catch a glimpse of the very worst of our human nature.  In a city where industries such as hospitality, pornography, bars, and nightclubs thrive, so do addictions and exploitation.

The French Quarter is like mixing the seedy part of Vegas with West Hollywood and a small French town while sprinkling in some southern hospitality. It’s a dynamic in which few would ever consider developing a sustainable, ever-present ministry.  But with a continued increase in tourism and over 15,000 people employed by the hospitality industry in the French Quarter alone, there is no better place to make some “good noise” and lay down some roots.

There are some obvious (and yet unknown) challenges to this venture, but as we continue to move forward, we are expectant that God will continue to work in this brokenly beautiful city.

The future

In our next update, we will lay out the vision and mission of The Resting Place as well as our timeline.  We want everyone we know to know what God is doing here as we can see it unfolding.

Thank you for your support.  We ask that if you know people who are people of prayer, generosity or action, that you would forward these updates to them so they can partner with us in their gifts.

Talk to you soon.
Christopher and Leanne

Pray it up…
Please pray for:

1. Continued personal and spiritual growth.

2. Openness to serving the community at large.

3. The CENTER and The Resting Place.

4. Influence at our jobs.

5. Wisdom.  Lots of wisdom.

6. Bella to make friends and find her niche in the community.

7. A permanent home for us.

8. Us to be a strong, God-honoring, loving family.

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