Right on Time (July 2017)
I type this from a borrowed air mattress on my bedroom floor since we sold our bed today. We are neck-deep -- eh, make that fully submerged -- in the chaos of trying to get EVERYTHING ready for our upcoming long-term return to the mission field. In the meantime, God has done some amazing things!
To all of you who have been praying for us and with us already, THANK YOU! God is clearly moving us forward as you'll see below! If you've just joined us on our journey, click here for a quick video about what we're doing. Now, here's the scoop...
- Our UK visas were approved!! We've been granted 3-year "minister of religion" visas. Praise the Lord!
- Our house is under contract for sale! YAY! This was a biggie for us and the incredible story that goes with it is further down.
- We have been abundantly blessed with generous one-time financial gifts that cover most of our up-front costs for travel, visas, legal fees and more. WOW!
- Strength. We are exhausted beyond all reason at this point and still have so much to accomplish to have our house completely empty and be ready to drive to TX on July 24th and fly to the UK on August 9th. Also, the kids are especially ready for life to have some semblance of structure and normality. Please pray for supernatural strength, energy, focus and patience for all of us on this final stretch!
- Monthly Support. We are about 1/3 of the way to raising our needed monthly support, so about $2k of the needed $6k has been pledged. We are so thankful, but have a ways to go. With a much higher cost of living and less favorable exchange rate, dollars just don't stretch as far there. Please pray for God's perfect provision in all areas and wisdom for us to be good stewards of all He provides.
- NOTE TO CLARIFY: We will definitely be working full-time, but it is unpaid. If the ministries we'll be working with could pay us, we wouldn't need to go. They'd just hire someone locally! Also, our visas limit us to only ministry work in that country. Any income must be from that, which as I've just clarified isn't something feasible for them to afford. This is in one of the poorest areas of England. And if we could work other jobs to support living there, the majority of our time would be tied up in that vs. doing the work God has called us there to do. Click here for a short video from the ministry we'll be primarily working with about what it means to them for us to go.
- Stuff. We wanted to send some personal effects and needed items via freight but the cost is just too high. So, packing has become substantially more complicated as we try to whittle down our "take pile" to what can fit in a few suitcases. We'll then put the rest in storage in hopes of shipping at a later time. We have 12 months from arriving in the UK to import our personal belongings as part of our move. In the meantime, pray those nifty vacuum bags do their thing and all the necessities (plus a few reminders of home) will fit!
Now, on to the cool house contract story...
We haven't had anyone look at our house for weeks. WEEKS. It's been like crickets chirping over here. Even the open houses haven't yielded much traffic. And while we totally trust God and *know* He has a plan, we have been starting to get a little antsy as our move date is drawing closer. The bottom line is the mortgage has to get paid. So, we decided to pursue renting our house as an alternative. We met with a property management company on Wednesday (July 12) and spent several hours on Thursday reading through the all contract details. Having never done anything like this before, it was pretty overwhelming. As we went back and forth on the decision - wait for a buyer or rent - Trevor finally just threw his hands up and said, "God, I can't make this decision! I'm not qualified or capable. YOU have to show us what to do!" [So, here comes the fleece]. "If we are NOT supposed to go the rent house route, put up a HUGE red flag or send a buyer. By Noon tomorrow." Then we just went back to our zillions of other things to do.
Later that same night at about 9:45pm, my phone rang. It was our realtor. "Have you signed a contract with the property management company yet?" she asked. "No," I replied. "Good!" she said, "because we have an offer on the house."
WHAT?!?! How is this possible? No one has even looked at it! We were in absolute shock. We met the next morning to sort out the details and before mid-day (that would be Noon), a final offer was agreed upon and accepted by all. YAY, GOD! The most amazing part is the family that's buying the house looked at it back on June 23rd... weeks ago! They are moving here to serve as youth pastors and fell in love with it, but just had to wait until they had a contract on their house in another city. So, the answer to our prayers had already come. We just couldn't see it yet.
Whatever answer you might be waiting on, be encouraged that God is always on time. And when you live a surrendered life with Him at the center, you get to watch the impossible dissolve and all things work together for your good. This is also a wonderful reminder that it's not just about us. God is writing a story for each of His children. The timing of the events in this story are as much about God answering our buyers' prayers as our own. He's such a good Father!
Thank you for your continued prayers and support, and we'll provide another update very soon! For now though, it's back to packing!
Trevor, Connie, Brooklyn & Lincoln // UK for Jesus