Churchfunding Update 8: An Invitation to Special Prayer

We invite friends near and far to join us in special prayer over the next week, asking God to lead us to a house in Atlanta. Our hunt for a house to buy is taking longer than we had hoped. The wait will soon become more expensive, unless we can move into a house before April (more below).

Unless the Lord provides the house, they labor in vain that look for one! We know that we can’t force God’s hand (and we don’t want to). But we also know that our Father invites us to “pester” him boldly with our needs (Luke 18:1-8), confident in his wisdom and goodness. We invite you to help us do this.

What has been happening with our house hunt? The  winter months have been really faith-stretching. We missed our first-choice house in the late fall, partly because we didn’t find funding in time. Few new houses came on the market in December. Steve and Christy Smucker (our future teammates) discovered they had a bad mold problem in their house, so we thought they might also need a new house. In addition, I had some really unnerving health problems that led to a colonoscopy early this month. (I sincerely thank God that my health has been returning!)

So we did little house hunting for a month or two.

I did, however, make a solo trip to Atlanta in late January. I met our new realtor for the first time, and he seems to be a good fit. We toured several houses and drove by more. One house was really nice, but a bit pricey for its location. Another (a fixer-upper) was in a superb location—but we discovered it about 5 days too late. My emotions took a roller-coaster ride. But I got a better sense of neighborhoods and streets. I met with Choice Books managers and confirmed that I have a part-time job offer. And Steve and Christy Smucker seem to be conquering the mold problem in their house, so we have some clarity again that our preference is to find a house in their neighborhood.

If we were just looking for a place for our family to live, we could probably settle for one of the houses currently on the market. But we are looking for a place where I can also teach piano (not-too-scary neighborhood, a suitable room, enough parking so neighbors aren’t disturbed), since we expect that to be an important source of our income. And we’d also like enough space to effectively host small church gatherings.

Not many new houses have come on the market since my last Atlanta visit, and it seems to be a seller’s market right now. So, we are torn between waiting for something more ideal or significantly adapting our expectations and simply buying something that will get us to Atlanta. Zonya and I are ready to move, and Steve and Christy are ready for us to come!

Waiting is disorienting. We still feel a peace about moving to Atlanta, but things haven’t been falling into place. Why not? God knows. (Strange thoughts come to mind, like: “God sees we aren’t that preoccupied with specific ideas for serving him in Atlanta, so he’s not feeling urgent about getting us there, but Satan sees our presence in Atlanta would encourage Steves, so he’s hindering our move; thus we are doubly doomed.”) Last night at Bible study we were reminded to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). What does this look like in our situation? (What does it look like while many are homeless this very moment?) I’m not fully sure.

Another factor that increases our sense of urgency is our promise to our lenders that we will begin monthly repayments in April, house or no house. This is only fair, and we do not expect this commitment will bring us any immediate financial difficulty. But it does mean that, unless we are in a new house by April, we will be making $500 loan repayments on top of $450 Iowa rent payments each month. I keep telling God that it would be wise financial stewardship for him to provide a house before then!

In summary, I have started asking God to please lead us to a house before the end of this month. I don’t know much about prayer, and I realize God’s plans for our family might be very different from my hopes and expectations. But I continue to ask, and we invite you to do the same.

So as you remember us over this next week, I invite your prayers.

Please share this post with anyone else who may want to pray.

And thank you! The support of God’s people has greatly encouraged us many times in this house-hunt saga! If you have any counsel, prophetic word, or other encouragement, please comment below.

For Christ and his Church,
Dwight and Zonya and the three little ladies

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4 thoughts on “Churchfunding Update 8: An Invitation to Special Prayer”

  1. Thank you for this account of what has and hasn’t been happening and for sharing the call to fervent, persevering prayer. As the Lord enables, I will be praying often for the right house for you and for wisdom and peace and faith for both of you. A recent missionary speaker told of their burden for Tibet and how when they were in this country, they asked everyone for an opening for them to reach the Buddhists of Tibet. When they returned to China, God provided an opening to teach an English class in a Chinese church. They took it, but as the months went by, they wondered if they had misunderstood God’s call–where was the prayed-for opening in Tibet? They struggled with doubt. Then God brought an unbelieving Tibetan woman who wanted to learn English to the class. She became a believer, became the link to Tibet, and the whole church is now onboard with an outreach to Tibetans. Our speaker said that he and his wife had Prov. 3:5, 6 engraved on their wedding rings, and the whole point of his story was that God did it, but not in the way they expected. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” He will, in His way and time, which I know is what you both desire with all your hearts. It is a joy to pray for you.

    1. Thank you so much for that story, Lois! Telling each other stories of God’s faithfulness is one of the very best ways of strengthening each other’s faith. Thank you for doing that for me!

      And for anyone else who may also be reading: I have a phone call scheduled for 8:45 EST tomorrow morning with our realtor, to discuss a house that came on the market today. It is the most promising option I’ve seen in a while. May the Good Shepherd glorify himself as we explore this possibility! Thanks again for your continued prayers.

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