Saturday, August 4, 2018

Another Door Opens

So, most people have heard a saying that goes, "when one door closes, another door opens." It sounds so cliche, and almost rude if someone were to say it to your face while in the midst of what feels like a door being closed. BUT, my heart is so full of gratitude and touched by the sweetness of the truth I see in that simple statement when I, after asking questions and struggling with the unknowns of life,  am able to walk through that open door and trust that God is always steps ahead of us, providing a way.

In January, our family was in MN visiting family and supporters, and making plans to begin a big project for our ministry. We were hoping to create an apartment in the upstairs of the new ministry building, in order to move out of our apartment across town, and move on-site... and prepare to take on new students, and open up the store shortly after... it was a big deal. We were already working from the building, as the students were doing some custom work for the owner, and he was pretty relaxed with just a verbal agreement as we were trying to raise funds etc. After some successful fundraising, we were hopeful we would be able to begin the project, starting with a bathroom and kitchen. When we arrived back to Mobay, Paul had a few other commitments already set, so we knew it wouldn't happen immediately.  However, upon reconnecting with the organization that had expressed a desire to partner with us and help with the fundraising for the program, specifically what would make renting the building possible, we learned they would not be able to partner with us after all... SO, this was a game-changer, we thought. We were not going to be able to move forward with a lease for the building without a big source of funding. We were at square 1. We informed the owner of the building. He was super nice, saying we could have some time to do more fundraising, but it felt pretty unrealistic. Not much later, he shared that there was another interested party offering him about 3 times more than we would be paying. He said he was still willing to honor our verbal agreement though, and not to worry about it. But we did worry. We didn't have the financial support at all, and he was being offered a lot of money. We didn't want to be in the way of him making a profitable deal if we wouldn't be able to get it to come together anyways. So we prayed about it and surrendered the whole vision to God. We told the owner to take the deal and we would move on.

So that brought us to a point of evaluation. We knew we felt called to be here. So we wanted to be able to let go of the "big plan" for the program and be content with a downsized vision, slower timeline to allow for growth etc. and really think about how our family could feel more settled in this country living as missionaries.

I felt the urge to just look online for rental properties that might give our family a little more space, and hopefully the option of having a dog, as the kids have so wanted a pet. Anyways, we came across a house that was listed for sale... and it looked so lovely, out in the country, but not too far away (actually in an area where we have built several homes and know many people in the community.) We decided to go look at it, thought it would be really great, and asked if they would be open to renting it to us. They said yes, and even offered us their 2 watchdogs as our foster pets. It was a big relief, and something we could feel excited about!

After we decided to go for the house and let our family try to feel more settled and content, the owner of the ministry building came back to us.  The other party was no longer interested after all, and we could have more time to campaign for program funding.

So that is where we are now, still wanting to do what we can in our power, but also surrendering it all to God, fully trusting that he has it all in his hands. We moved into the house 2 weeks ago. And it is so peaceful and refreshing. Paul and the students are actually still working from the building for now. And we will continue to pray for partners, for wisdom, and ultimately for God's will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We can feel disappointed, frustrated or confused at the way things move slowly or get messed up on earth. Sometimes, we can be pleasantly surprised. We can be completely unsure of how things might go in this life,  but we can also be confident that we have a father who cares for us and is in it with us.