Of burglars, beams, builders, bricks

Ministries by Design is renovating an old farmhouse in N Wiltshire on the edge of the Cotswolds, in order to be a place of spiritual sanctuary, spiritual restoration, spiritual abiding in the Vine (John 15). Regular updates here! So sign up (>>>) to get the updates delivered into your inbox. Might you pray for us as we undertake this enormous project? and come and visit - and maybe help? - whenever you can. Visitors always welcome!  This past week has been OF BURGLARS, BEAMS, BUILDERS and BRICKS

The house became ours, officially, on February 14th. We laughed, gave thanks, were delirious with joy and relief -  six months since our offer was accepted (see that story here) with  ups and downs (here)  along the way (here).  What a gift of Love and Life and Laughter, on Valentine's Day!.

The neighbour's phone call came later. Did we know the door was swinging wide? Were we there?

We were not but we soon were. Investigations showed all too soon that someone had been in.  A BURGLAR , for the brandnew, unopened, rather expensive wall paper stripper was gone. We thanked God that it was nothing worse, no fire started, nothing more precious taken. But husband is rueing the loss of such a useful and expensive 'toy.' As shall I be no doubt when I start stripping.  (the wall paper). Ebay has provided a cheaper substitute already. So much for the burglar.

THE BEAM is the one thing that has thrown up a problem. One vast old wooden beam (out of many) is rotten at one end, over a window. An extra £1500 on top of the budget. We thanked God it is just one beam's worth. The rest of the house is pronounced sound. The timbers have all been treated (which is why the floor boards are up, revealing 17th Century joists) We are good to go on.

Tomorrow, Monday, the BUILDERS return. We had rented the building back from the current owners during January, so that some work could begin, but it had had to halt for a while. We thank God for Tom and his crew; and pray that we will be living grace around them, as we work alongside them. May they see the Lord in our lives.

Finally - the fun of the BRICKS. A story in pictures of what Kim, aided by Chris on Saturday, has been doing in what will be the drawing room.

It begins with a 1950's fireplace, and an outside wall which is about 4 feet thick.

Four successively older layers of brick fireplaces chipped out. A cascade of bricks. Daylight glimpsed. One old ingelnook fireplace. Two tired dusty exultant men - one worship leader, one vicar. Thanking God for safety and fun and discoveries.

What will next week bring?

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