Through my internship serving the homeless community, I'm making an impact on the lost and hurting world through the power of the Gospel.
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    Frances Clark

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    $41.16 monthly / 37 days ago

    Valued At: $493.92

    Nick!!! It has truly been a blessing to get to knowing you from afar. I love getting your newsletters in the mail. Keep on sharing and showing God's epic love for His people and children. You are on amazing guy and hopefully one day I will get to meet you in person again here on Earth. May God bless you in many ways and keep you safe!!!

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    $30.87 / 75 days ago

    Nick!!! Reading your updates and "snail mail" newsletters brighten my day!! Keep fulfilling the will of God throughout the good but most importantly the bad times when you want to give up. Isaiah 41:10 always brings me hope, look it up!! Praying for your anxiousness throughout the most difficult of days.

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    Nathan & Lori Petrie

    $51.45 / 75 days ago

    We love you, Nick, and are encouraged by your faithful and "long obedience in the same direction." We're asking that God would empower you to serve Louisville, use you to regenerate lives, and reveal to you the fullness of the Gospel. Go cats. Col 1:9-14

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    Madison Leonard

    $50.00 / 81 days ago

    NICK!!! I hope you are doing well! I absolutely love receiving your monthly newsletters so that I can keep up with the awesome things you are doing for God's Kingdom. Know that I am praying for you and your team!

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    Katelynn Stringer

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    Hey Nick, you've been on my mind this year! I hope God is teaching you a lot about himself and his people!

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    Gloria Briscoe

    $102.90 / 83 days ago

    Nick, I am insanely proud of you for what you are doing through Love Thy Neighborhood. You honestly have the biggest, most loving heart, and I was so blessed to get to work with you this past summer. I wish you the best in your ministry - I pray that so many lives are changed by the power of the Gospel. You are making such a difference, Nick, and you're shining the light in a dark world!

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    Robby Allen

    $25.72 / 84 days ago

    I made you.

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    Victoria Aulick

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    Keep doing amazing things Nick! So proud to call you friend!

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    Adam Elias

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    Proud of you, Nick! Love, Adam, Natalie, & Layla

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    John Barnett

    $25.72 / 95 days ago

    It’s simple, Nick Rules and he has been a great help to Team Refuge, as well as, everywhere else he serves. I love LTN!

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    Aaron Adkins

    $5.00 / 102 days ago

    It's been amazing having you as a neighbor man! Thank you for the rides from Starbucks and for the spontaneous trips here and there. You're very humble and that will be great in your future ongoings. Merry Christmas Nick!

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    Cameron Day

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    Love you bro! Keep up the Kingdom work!

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    Joseph Bentley

    $30.00 monthly / 105 days ago

    Valued At: $360.00

    Woot woot! Go get 'em, Nick!!

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    $51.45 / 105 days ago

    We love you, Nick! Keep up the good work! - Kelly, Joe, Gideon, and Gabriel ❤️

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    Anita Smith

    $50.00 / 106 days ago

    So blessed to be able to support Nick. We miss you, Nick, in the Crossroads Church family in Missouri! Blessings on your work there!

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    Keep up the good work! I'll be praying for you.

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    Philip Vallone

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    Nick, you will be in my prays daily as you allow the Holy Spirit to do God’s work through you.

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    Cody Fields

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    Praying for you!

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    Michael and Shanaka Winters

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    Keep serving the Lord well Nick!

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    Elaina Barron

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    We're praying for how God can use you in Louisville. May he be glorified to the neighborhood through you!

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    We are very proud of you! Brad, Tiffinee, Alexa, and Ethan

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    Jeremy Elias

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    We love you, brother! Praying for you.

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    Margie Briscoe

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    Will be praying for you here in Monroe Georgia!

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    I'm so encouraged by you all! Praying that the Lord will utilize your team as a vessel of the good news of Jesus.

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    Katharine Russ

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    Lifting you up in my prayers over the next year, and always. Loved our time together at UK and the BCM!!

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    Heath Woolman

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    Nick! Casey and I lived in the Louisville area for 2 years while attending SBTS! We LOVE that city! Praying that God uses you in amazing ways!

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    Paul Rikel

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    May God be glorified as you respond to human needs and proclaim the Gospel as the expression of Christ to the people you encounter. Blessings, Paul, Velda, and McKinley Rikel

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    Lone Oak Baptist Church Inc.

    $600.00 / 289 days ago

About Nick Elias

Let's take a deep breath.

(12/19/17) In case you were thinking I forgot to finish the blog post a week ago, probably due to getting distracted by something, you're correct. But also isn't it kind of artsy that the title is Peace and Quiet, and there's like nothing there? (please laugh)

So I'm writing from home in good ol' Atomic City, Quilt Capitol of the world, Paducah, KY. It's very quiet and I'm already feeling overwhelmed by the lack of people all around me. 

For this blog post I want to reflect on the past 4 months of LTN as well as cast some vision for the next several months. Here it goes.

12 Interns
11 Months
$10k is my goal to raise
9 weeks of loving work at the Rescue Mission 
8 neighborhood tutoring sessions
7 score on the Enneagram 
6 collective days of recruiting trips
4 men in a tiny apartment that haven't killed each other yet
3 birthday parties
2 many game nights (is impossible)
and 1 awesome God who threw me into this beautiful mess!
*note: I may or may not have approximated on some of these figures in order to keep a witty Christmas-themed style. 

It is easy for me to focus on the fun, exciting parts of Love Thy Neighborhood. But these months have not been all fun and exciting. There have been plenty of days where I have questioned my purposes in being here. Here's an excerpt from a journal entry I made 
earlier this month:
"Before Bed Reflection
I feel so tired. Today has been draining. I don't know why I act the way I do. Pissed...slightly energetic...frustrated...quiet and awkward...awkwarder...angry yet avoiding...
It's been frustrating. I've disliked myself a lot today... I just want to think less about everything."

Something I've learned about myself is that I try to veer away from conflict whenever I can. It's easier for me to bottle up emotions and things that frustrate me than to engage in them with other people, yet I've learned that healthy relationships are based in truth, honesty, and vulnerability. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 7 say:
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: ...a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak"
I don't think it's a stretch to apply this verse. I have no trouble with keeping silent and "sewing", or trying to keep everyone happy and in-order. Yet there is time when conflict must be used to confront wrong, when we must "speak" and "tear" in order that growth may happen. For me this means being more honest around our household with my roommates and pointing out mistakes the men at work make, even if it makes someone angry.

So in these next months, my vision is to live more honestly and speak out more wherever I go, yet always in love. Proverbs 15:1 says a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 3 verses later it says that a gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. May we all speak up in truth and answer softly, not to stir up anger but to build one another up. 

I didn't plan on this post being as inward and reflective as it is, but this is what I felt like I should write about. Again, if you ever have questions about what else goes on here at Love Thy Neighborhood for Nick, please contact me through email, Facebook, phone, message in a bottle, and I'll start to send you snail-mail newsletters!

Prayer Requests:
  1.  There was a HUGE water main break in Shelby Park last Tuesday while we were on our retreat. Literally waist-deep water flooded the Shelby Park neighborhood. The portion of Camp St. where I live was not affected very much, but other streets were hit hard and I'm sure many people in our neighborhood are struggling with insurance claims and all.
  2.  Pray for RUTH!! She's joining our team in January, all the way from England! A transition like that will be tough, but pray for her as she gets involved in Scarlet Hope in Louisville and joins our LTN family.
  3. Pray for men at the Rescue Mission during Christmas. I know it will be tough for some of them, especially coming from broken families. Pray specifically for S as his sister was hospitalized last week, P because he lost a loved one before coming to the Mission, and A as he has been dealing with court issues with family for a few months now.

Thanks for reading! Have a happy holiday season. Love each other well, speak truth in love, and do something goony.

Much love,

Peace and Quiet.

(12/13/17) Wednesday we returned from our first LTN Retreat. 

Before I get into this post, there are three important details that I need to clarify with you, my supporter, friend, family member, or possibly someone who clicked the wrong link. 

#1: I lost a chunk of my contact list when my computer crashed. If you didn't receive an October newsletter and think you should've, it's my bad. If you'd like to receive snail-mail newsletters with pictures and handwritten PS's, message me on FB or email me at

#2: Every letter I send has to weigh the same, so if you've already started supporting me financially every newsletter will have a return-address envelope. It's not because I'm ungrateful or not receiving donations; every letter I send has to weigh exactly the same.

#3: Some crazy awesome anonymous donors have pledged to LITERALLY DOUBLE every donation from now until Dec. 31, up to $35,000. If you're considering partnering with me financially, please think about doing so (above your regular church tithe) soon! Seriously, $50 becomes $100, $500 becomes $1000. 

Thank you to everyone who is praying, encouraging, and donating. I love you all and can't be here without you. So anyway, let's get down to business. 
(yes, to defeat the Huns.)

Ce-le-brate Good Times Come On!!

(12/3/17) Good gravy, this month has been full of life and celebrations. Two birthday parties in two days is not an easy thing to plan, but luckily I wasn't in charge of it. Taylor and Hong, two of my roommates here at LTN, had birthdays in the same week, so we thought that to love them both well we'd celebrate individually instead of lumping the parties together. 
Totally worth it.

Yet it hasn't just been amongst us interns that there's been celebration...

      The day before Thanksgiving was *wild* at the Rescue Mission. There were over 40 turkeys being deep-fried throughout the day for homeless people and men in the recovery program, as well as a huge full Thanksgiving meal served at lunchtime. Continuing in my serving capacity, though, I drove 6 of the recovery program guys to Thrift n' Thrive, the Thrift Store that we work at each day to raise money and help give the men job experience. Being separated from the party seemed pretty lame, so Andrew (my other roommate who works full-time at the store) and I decided to spice things up a little.
Pumpkin spice, that is. (90% sure I'm gonna hate myself a little bit later for saying that.)

      We drove to a nearby bakery on an "errand run" and picked up 2 pies for lunch, then went to the grocery and bought some turkey legs for everyone. It was pretty hilarious, and luckily no one really caught me in the act, as I tried to sneakily cook the precooked turkey in our janky old microwave that was probably donated to the store. But we had our own potluck that day, and it was so good to celebrate the holiday.

      At noon that day we all gathered around a TV in the cramped office and watched an interview on local news. Exciting, right? Well for us it was significant, because the interviewee was none other than W, one of the Rescue Mission Recovery Program guys!! He had the chance to talk about his experience at the mission in order to give a sort-of spotlight to local nonprofits in the area. He had told me about it the previous week and said he was SO nervous about being on TV, and he made sure to remind me several times to be praying for him.

    He talked about how thankful he was to be there at the mission, for his community of "brothers" (we all got a kick out of that one) and for all the people who haven't given up on him. He knew that he wasn't just a face or a societal problem because of the love shown to him. This reminds me of John 13:35, when Jesus tell His disciples: 
"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV)
      And shoot, it was evident that these men have love for each other. Even though strangers a few months ago, looking around and seeing teary-eyed guys supporting a friend on TV proved to me that these guys have each others' backs, and I'm so BEYOND blessed to get to hang out with them every day. 

Prayer Requests:
--> 3 of the LTN interns-Vicky, Theresa, and Kristin- are finishing up their year this month because they started last January. They are good friends and will be missed like crazy. Pray for them as they move on to the next steps!
-->Pray for the men who have joined the Recovery Program at the Rescue Mission but then left due to frustration, relapse, or whatever other reason.
-->Pray for me, as I've been wrestling through anxiousness and insecurities the past few weeks.

Thanks for hanging with me! I know this was a longer blog post but if you made it this far without cheating I owe you a candy bar of some kind. Not too crazy though, I don't have the kind of funds for anything King-Sized. Have a great day. Grieve well, celebrate well, love well. 

Peace and blessings,


Getting in the groove of things

(11/9/17) It's been a little over 2 months now and even typing that just now seems crazy. At this point I'm remembering names and faces; it doesn't feel like I'm drowning in a sea of nametags anymore.

I've gotten to know the other 11 interns super well. I'd say that my favorite thing to do throughout the week is hang out with them and be goony in general, whether that's through playing Spicy Uno at board game nights, impromptu donut runs, or just lounging around on a tiny couch while reflecting on all our experiences at our nonprofits.

I'm finding my niche in my roles at LRM, Sojourn, and Love Thy Neighborhood altogether. What's funny though is that the more that I get accustomed to life here in Louisville, the more I realize that I'm a tiny tiny TINY part of what all goes on, so I'm wrestling with that idea at the moment. As Proverbs 16:18 says, "Pride goes before destruction; a haughty spirit before a fall."

      Based on the Enneagram personality test, I'm a 7. If that means nothing to you, basically I love new experiences and seeing what life has in store, even if that means jumping in a car for spontaneous trips.

      One of my downstairs neighbors grew up with cerebral palsy, and as I've gotten to know him and his wife better I've learned that he enjoys playing wheelchair basketball. I'd only ever seen the sport on the internet, so when he asked me and Hong if we'd tag along naturally I was on board.
      We got to the gym before our neighbor. Walking in, emphasis on "walking", I realized that I had no idea what I was doing and thought about leaving. "What if they're offended that we want to join?" "What if they don't want to teach us?" "What if I just absolutely suck at this game?" Nevertheless, Hong and I were there to ball and try something new, so I nervously asked one of the guys that was strapping himself in the following question:

"Hey, I have no idea what I'm doing. Can you help me?"

Man, I'm glad I said that. I wish I'd say that more often instead of worrying about looking foolish.

      The guy- let's call him Larry- helped each of us pick out a wheelchair from the rental rack, told us where to put our feet, and showed us how to turn and whatnot. After that and practicing a few shots from a sitting position, we jumped right into a 5 on 5 game. It was so dope. These guys were so good, draining 3's like it was nothing, while I'm just trying to make it to the other side of the court. They gave us some mercy at first since we were new, but after Hong started setting some screens and I made a few shots from the post, they brought their A-game. Which usually involved cutting us off, blocking our shots, and nearly shutting us out of the game entirely.

      It was a blast. I left that day having met some awesome guys while getting to know my neighbor better, as well as blistering up my hands irrevocably (it was real bad). And none of it would have EVER happened had I not admitted to Larry, as well as myself, that I had no idea what I was doing.
     "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

Prayer Requests:
--Pray for W, J, and D, 3 guys in the Recovery program at the Rescue Mission that are trying to quit smoking.
--The Sojourn church family as they mourn for a brother, Jason, who was shot and killed a few nights ago. Also for his family and newlywed wife.
-- Me as I balance loving the guys at LRM while being an authority figure.

Happy Fall Yall. I'm thankful to be here, to be sent here by yall, to be provided for and loved by supporters, friends, family, and everyone inbetween.

Peace, blessings, and lotsa love,

The eagle has landed. I repeat, the eagle has landed.

(9/19/17) So there I was, stepping into the oh-so-familiar establishment known as Kroger. I’d been to this chain of grocery store many a time, but this visit was different. Suddenly I found myself examining price tags closer, saying “no” to name brand foods, and throwing food back onto the shelves as I repeatedly went over budget.

I've made it to Shelby Park in Louisville, and these past two weeks have felt like two months (like the long months, not February). I started working with the homeless at the Louisville Rescue Mission (LRM) last Tuesday, and after a week of being there I’m both thrilled and emotionally preparing myself for the rest of the year. I’ve been working at the emergency day shelter, supervising men in the Life Change recovery program, and delivering the occasional cup of coffee as most interns do.

This internship involves so much more than working at LRM, as I'm trying to become a functioning part of the Sojourn Church family, Shelby Park community, and my apartment of four guys (Andrew, Hong, Taylor, and myself) that I think might be big enough to regularly fit one person and a pet fish. To keep this update short, I'll include one story and two prayer requests.

Story (any names besides other interns' are made up to protect privacy)

Every Saturday gives us time to do chores, shop for groceries, and get to know the neighborhood. The last part is what intimidated me the most, as meeting your neighbors sadly has passed on as a social norm in today's context. As my roommate Andrew and I headed towards the park to hopefully make friends of strangers, I undertook the goal of trying to meet someone who plays music because...well...I like music a lot. Literally AS SOON as we stepped foot in the park we spotted two guys setting up a sound-system for a picnic. After talking with them, we found out that both of them play music on the reg and that they were having a birthday party for the older one, Fred, who turned 65 that day. I talked with his son Bill for a while and eventually joined the party. Their whole family came and served a neighborhood-wide potluck for anyone, which was super foreign to me. They also played live music and I had the chance to jump on the cajón (box drum) for a few songs!

Ok God, I see You. Doing Your thing as usual.

Prayer Requests

1. Pray for one of the guys at the Rescue Mission who I witnessed get thrown out of the program, unsure of where exactly he could stay that night. Call him "Jack". God knows his real name.

2. Pray for us 12 interns as we navigate through this new adventure, that we can build healthy roommate relationships and friendships with each other that will withstand the inevitable conflicts that happen when people live together.

THANK YOU FOR READING THIS AND CARING ABOUT MY LIFE. Don't hesitate to connect with me, I want to hear about your lives and how I can pray and help y'all as well.

Peace and blessings,


Check back in a month for more shenanigans!

Paducah roots, recent UK grad, bound for a new adventure!

(8/22/17) Two weeks from today I'll be moving in to my new home in the Shelby Park neighborhood of Louisville, KY!  For the next 11 months I will be working as an intern at the Louisville Rescue Mission while bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the area through loving the city and the awesome people in it. 

Love Thy Neighborhood is an urban missions agency that combines social justice internships with a focus on Christian community for young adults aged 18-30. Through LTN I'll be ministering to those experiencing homelessness and poverty while living with a small group of other interns around my age who have similar passions as well as being involved in a local church.

I've known about this program for a few years, but it wasn't until mid-February of 2017 when God made it obvious that LTN is the next step of obedience for me. He led me to volunteer at the Lexington Rescue Mission through a Spanish class assignment (lol) and I fell in love with homeless ministry through that. Talking to men and women on the streets while living in downtown Lex furthered my calling. Involvement at the UK Baptist Campus Ministry and Immanuel Baptist Church showed me the innate desire for friendships and community that God made me with. Then, when two guys from the program showed up and spoke at the UK BCM in February, I knew that I was supposed to assault them with questions and make sure that I joined LTN.

So here I am! In two weeks my new adventure starts, and I want to invite you to partner with me in bringing the good news of Jesus to inner-city Louisville, KY, whether you're a family member, long-time friend, short-time friend, or complete stranger!

As a Love Thy Neighborhood Team Member, my goal is to raise $9,900 for the year ($900/month) to cover the cost of living, eating, transportation, training, newsletter supplies, etc. Anything you can commit will bring me closer to that goal and make my mission possible. If you can help financially above your regular church tithes feel free to donate on the right hand side of the page. If you'd like to know more about Love Thy Neighborhood, you can message me and ask or check out their website at

Please pray for me throughout the year and let me know how I can be praying for you as well. If you'd like to probe my brain and receive physical newsletters let me know that as well. Thank you for the part you have played in my life up to this point!

Much love and in Christ,


28 "And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31 ESV, emphasis added (see what I did there?)

Check back in two weeks for the next installment of my journey!