The initial excitement of finding a house that can be our family home as well as provide a place of peace and sanctuary for others has lasted for a while! Feeling called by God to pursue that dream is exhilarating. If you missed the 'formal announcement', you can find it here.
And for a while we have known blessing upon blessing. Not just that the sellers chose us in spite of ours being the lowest offer; or our London flat going under offer within a few days for more than we had imagined it might be worth; or the sense of the house being the 'right' place every time we walk in. But more than all those, the 'sixth sense' type of feeling or knowing, that deep imponderable, that the Lord is in this and is making it happen.
So we smiled and accepted the most amazing offers of help - this person doing all the legal work to set up the charitable Trust for us, that kitchen design person offering their services for free, this one who knows how to get grants for insulation doing the ground work, that one offering to put together a little group of initial donors to the Trust. And the kind comments, tweets, emails, letters, cards - from friends and acquaintances, family and congregation - the sense everyone has that this is 'right,' this is what we are meant to be doing. And people we haven't even met offering to come and be praying labourers when we need them; a member of a youth group we ran 30 years ago writing out of the blue offering to come and help. The couple we asked to be Chairperson and first trustee of the board saying yes .... blessing upon blessing. And we can't quite believe it's all happening and that there are less than 90 days until we leave the church here.
And there was bound to be a first but.
The mortgage company we used for the London apartment have refused to 'port' the mortgage. We hadn't counted on that. We took out that mortgage years ago when we were first in the States, both of us on the generous salaries that clergy there often enjoy. Now we are stepping out into the unknown, really living by faith as we take on this new project; there is no provable income in the future. The mortgage company don't like that!
So here is the first stumbling block.
Can I trust the Lord in this? Do I believe He can sort it out? And if I say, yes I do - do I mean it or is it just that I can hide behind my husband knowing that he is making phone calls and filling in forms and doing his best to find a new mortgage provider?
Because if I can't trust now, if I can't keep praying AND trusting, in this first hurdle, what of the next? And the next?
So here is my prayer request:
Will you pray with us that the Lord will indeed provide what is needed?
That we will learn to trust in God's provision and God's timing?
Listen to these children singing one of my favourite songs from Isaiah, a song we sang a lot on the first Cotswold Pilgrimage; click on the link for the music to play while you continue reading:
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; see that they remember that his Name is exalted.
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.
(Canticle 9 The Song of Isaiah)
Attempt something so great for God that it be doomed to failure unless God be in it.