Hello blog friends. It’s been a while! Slightly over a year, in fact. Here is my annual update about the repayment of our house loans, with a few other items of note. I’ll keep it short, because…
1) Life has been very busy lately. We spent a week in Iowa over the holidays, visiting my wife’s family. (During that time I updated my Beginners’ Bible Reading Plan. I’m really excited about the results–please look!) Then, a couple days after our return to Atlanta, my grandmother in Canada passed away, so I made a quick trip up there for her funeral. Between that and work, I haven’t had much discretionary time over the past month.
However, I’m grateful to say that our family is healthy and well, remaining busy with homeschooling, musical training, church commitments, and my part-time Choice Books work. (That will have to suffice for a family newsletter!)
2) Though I didn’t post any blogs in the past year, I did continue studying and writing. Most of my writing time this year was dedicated to revising and expanding my old essay 125 Years of Seven Ordinances (that’s the unfinished draft I posted years ago), since the Mennonite Historical Library in Goshen expressed interest in that research. This study is currently expanding into either a very long essay or a short book. I’ll let you know here when it’s done.
My divorce and remarriage studies mostly hit pause in 2023, but I still have more I hope to say on that topic, as well. For those who are impatient… thanks for your patience!
3) House loan repayments remain on schedule, thank God. At the beginning of 2023, we owed $14,507.50 in house loans. By the start of 2024, we owed only $7,855.00. Most of the difference was due to repayments, but a couple generous lenders forgave a total of $415.
Only 12 lenders are awaiting payment. (Several of those have received partial payment.) God willing, at our promised repayment rate of $500 per month, all loans will be repaid by April, 2025. Shall we have a giant open house weekend then to celebrate, inviting all lenders to come?
4) The main house improvement for 2023 was finally getting our attic properly insulated last month. Some spaces had only sporadic insulation and some spots had none at all! The biggest improvements are over our master bedroom and bath, and over the laundry room and my piano studio. The house feels more uniformly warm this winter and I think we’ll feel an even bigger difference when the sun starts warming our roof this summer. Hopefully we’ll see a difference in our electric bill, too.
5) Finally, I’m excited to say that plans are moving forward to rebuild this website. I built this WordPress site myself back in 2014 (self-taught) and have only tweaked it with plugins since. It’s been slow for several years now and its limp has become ever more pronounced, with significant down time. Truth be told, one of the big reasons I’ve posted so rarely of late is because it’s no fun waiting on a frozen website while trying to post.
I’ve been praying for a solution for a couple years, and now our church has generously pledged sufficient funds to rebuild Dwight Gingrich Online on another (more stable) platform and to pay for the first year of hosting and tech support. If all goes well, the migration will be complete within a month or two, and at that time I’ll share who I’ve hired to do the work.
Two details: 1) Please pray the migration goes smoothly, right down to the details like functioning footnotes and indexes. 2) The new platform will cost a little more to run long-term so I am planning to invite readers to help cover annual fees for future years.
At this point I’m committed to keeping all content on Dwight Gingrich Online free for all visitors, but for my family’s sake I also have to be realistic about the many thousands of dollars’ worth of time and fees I’ve invested in this website over the past decade, with very little funds coming the other direction. (Very warm thanks to my solitary monthly donor, if you’ve managed to read this far!)
Warm thanks again to everyone who has helped us with “the house that God bought.” Recently at the airport I randomly bumped into the real estate agent who helped us buy this house, and he certainly hasn’t forgotten the unusual way God provided for our needs. What a testimony of God’s goodness!
For Christ and his church,
PS: Here are more random photos from our family in the past year: