Wild Ride

Posted: May 10, 2012 in Life in Cali, Prayer Requests, preparations, Testimonies

We had been searching for a new location to live for several months as it has been difficult in the past finding housing for our short-term teams.  The original plan was to use the Cali district center but it is still in construction and currently there are no more funds to continue construction.  In the past we rented other apartments near our apartment to house our short-term volunteers. We didn’t have housing confirmed until just a few days prior to the arrival of our teams. If an owner wants to rent their home/apt they are not going to agree to a two-week rental when they could have someone to commit to a year, so our rental agreements were always last minute. Glory to God he always came through with what we needed not a moment too soon or a moment too late. This type of housing was wearing for the fact that we had to carry bunk beds, mattresses, fans, tables and chairs sometimes up to the 3rd floor of apartments and then remove it all the same day or day after the teams departed. We have found a better solution of renting a home where we would have sufficient space to house our short-termers. The name hotelcork seems to be following us wherever we are. We love sharing our gift of hospitality and now we will have the perfect opportunity to do so. Let me tell you the “wild ride” story of finding the house God had for us.

As I stated, we had been searching for a home near the church for the last few months. We looked through about 15 houses. We scanned the area of 10 blocks long and 8 blocks wide, zig-zagging through all the streets looking for rental signs and asking workers if the houses they were working on were for rent. Sometimes the workers would let us look through the house. Our wonderful co-worker, Sandra, would make the calls and appointments for us to see each of the homes for rent. Some were pristine and remodeled, others had been vacant for what seemed to be years and had freeloading cockroaches. We were so close to renting one of the homes. As foreigners the security companies had stricter rules for us. We would need someone to back us on the contract. With the church backing us, the Pastor backing the church- the security company still wanted one other signer to be behind the Pastor… someone not associated with the church. We were unable to find someone to do this. We praised God as we thought we had found the way around this by paying a deposit of 6 months. By the time everything was said and done, the security company wanted 10 months worth of rent for the deposit on a one-year contract. It wasn’t the answer. We found two other great homes but they were with the same security company, same problem; so we continued the search. The owner of the apartment we were in agreed to let us stay for another month past the end of our contract while we searched. Low and behold, we walked up to another great option for a house. In the process of having our paperwork reviewed for this house we learned that the apartment where we had been living had been sold and the owner wanted the house on the 27th of March. We were given one-week notice of this. We waited and waited for the approval on the house rental and finally it came but they requested one more document. Pastor needed to sign the document but he was starting some intense travel. Sandra patiently waited for him to arrive home from a scheduled flight at 5pm but due to delays arrived after 8pm… only to turn around and leave the next morning before 5am for Venezuela. We got the required doc signed but they still needed to draw up the official contract. He would be gone for one week and we needed to be out of the house in 2 days. We packed over the weekend ready to move our stuff out to who knows where, maybe a room in the church. We had asked for an extension of one week to get all the paperwork in order but the woman managing the apartment denied us. The day we were to move out, Sandra and Vincent stumbled upon a good friend of the new owner of the apartment. She put us in contact with the owner and we explained our situation. She was more than kind to let us stay through the week if we needed. Praise the Lord we had two more nights in our apartment with the living room and dining room stacked high with boxes with only our mattresses on the floor. Sandra received approval from the rental company to allow us to move in before the official contract was signed, but repairs had to be done in the house as well as a deep clean. This was all done by Wednesday afternoon (minus the deep clean). We finally moved all of our belongings and all the short term volunteer supplies including 4 bunk beds and 16 mattresses and 8 fans not to mention all the additional bowls, plates, cups, coffee makers/servers, coolers, linens, etc. I am amazed how much stuff we had stored in our little apartment. In putting this in God’s hands, He moved us into our new home 24 hours before my family arrived to visit us. He is so good.

So many of the things that happened during this transitional period were all been at the very last minute but God is always coming through for us. Thankfully we have learned to hand these things to Him so He can deal with them. I have been reflecting on the time when we had just arrived in Cali and we were searching for an apartment to rent, needed cell phones, and wanted a map to get our bearings. I was so impatient with God wanting everything to be done upon our arrival, but apparently He had some lessons for me to learn. Due to my lack of faith and misunderstanding of what it meant to “trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding,” I made it a stressful time for me, full of pain and frustration and occasional tears. We spent a lot of the time waiting on other people for things we would be able to do for ourselves in the US. This time around, during our housing transition I had so much peace it was unbelievable. And this time I think the situations were much worse in the eyes of the world. I am being reminded of how I was and how much I have changed by the grace of God, having complete faith in Him.

We had a young woman living with us who was studying Spanish. She had been with us for a month when we were in this moving process and she is much the immediacy kind of person that I must have looked like when I first arrived to Cali. I did the best I could to help her through all the transitions, the unknown answers to pertinent questions we all had, and the last minute changes that are inevitable living in South America. Watching her made me remember the pain and frustration I went through during our first months in Cali. I am so thankful I serve a God who is so loving and caring to help us through life transitions, the big thing is we have to hand it over to Him with complete trust and faith and not take it back to do it ourselves.

Vincent shared this verse during on of our small group meetings here in Cali and it has really stuck with me.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

  • Prayer Requests:
  • Upcoming team of 11 we are preparing for in June mostly from WV, one from MI and another from KS.
  • Finalization for a team in Aug.
  • Our schedule for our travels home in Aug/Sept 2012 for all speaking engagements to be confirmed by the end of this month.
  • Creativity in disciplining our almost 3 year old. It is hard to stay ahead of him.
  • Continued provisions for our financial needs. Praise His name for a the blessings from our partners we have already received.

Here are some pictures of our new home we are renting and of the wonderful time I had with my family visiting.

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  1. GailR says:

    It is always great to see the hand of God working in us. I love that verse, too. Also, “do not be anxious about anything, instead pray about everything…” We are praying for you. Love, Gail Ragle, LINKS Hawaii Family :0)

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