On Saturday, August 15 Josh found a piece of property for sale south of Spokane, WA and we decided to move forward with the possibility of buying it to build on. This was the first real “step” we had taken to move forward with getting a home. Josh contacted a realtor and our bank and we were going to meet with both in the next few days. But God had a different plan.
On Sunday, August 16 after our morning concert we drove to a little town outside of Missoula, MT to share some music at a small cowboy church. Coming to this church had been rescheduled from it’s original date and almost hadn’t been scheduled for this night. We had been to this church two years earlier and for the past two years have continued to agree that this area is one of the most beautiful areas we have traveled to. After the service was over and Josh and the boys had packed up the music equipment, I packed up the CDs at my table. We usually stay to chat with people, but this particular night was at the end of a very long weekend and we were so tired. We had intended to leave right away, but because we had not had much dinner, we decided to enjoy some of the desserts and visit a little bit. I sat down by myself then three women came and sat across from me. We started chatting about our ministry over the past few months. Looking back, I have no idea how this came up, but I made an offhand remark about how we were praying for a home. Immediately the eyes of the woman across from me started to tear up. I found this very odd but I kept talking, sharing a bit about what we were praying for and the areas we had considered (Washington and Montana). Before long, one of the other women across from me also appeared to be tearing up. I found this all a bit awkward, since I hadn’t felt like I’d said anything sad or particularly moving...so I kept talking. Finally one of these ladies interrupted me and it all made sense.
This woman, (I’m going to call her Mrs. S), shared that for years she has felt the call to provide a resting place for those involved in evangelistic ministry. Three years ago they bought a ranch with a second home on it, with the plan to house and assist a couple different families as they entered full time ministries. Although they were able to house those families for a while, neither situation ended up being long term and so recently the house has been sitting empty. Mrs. S and her husband have continued to feel the call to use that house to bless someone in full time ministry, but have not had any opportunities to do so. She described the house as nice, but I could tell she didn’t want me to have too high of expectations.
Mrs. S invited us to follow them to their ranch to see the inside (it would be too dark to see the outside) of the house on our way back to our hotel. We followed them out far into nowhere land. As we pulled up to the gate of the ranch, there was a big dog waiting to greet us! “Look boys! They have a dog!” I said, feeling more and more excited. “There’s not one dog!” Caden yelled! “There’s a MILLION dogs!” Sure enough, running along the fence were (what we found out later) 20 large dogs, excitedly barking!
(These are just the puppies! The others are MUCH BIGGER!)
Mr. and Mrs. S have a large ranch where they raise goats. The property is vast and beautiful. Their ranch is right up against a protected wilderness area and a small mountain range. The scenery is gorgeous and…
We are overjoyed to say that Mr. and Mrs. S have invited us to call this our home! Yes, after a year and a half of fervent prayer God has answered the cry of our hearts exceedingly and abundantly! Our cup runneth so far over that we are having to swim vigorously to keep up with the current!
The house is beautiful! It’s about 1600 square feet. Has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an office. The kitchen is good size with an island in the middle and is open to the dining room which is open to the living room. The living room has a wood burning stove in the corner. When we arrived Monday to begin moving in, the house was furnished, beds made, towels and soap in the bathrooms, and the kitchen fully filled with dishes and utensils! They went far above and beyond and we are overwhelmed! We only have to pay utilities, which takes care of the financial concerns we had regarding renting or buying! We are staying here the next couple of weeks before heading out for our fall tour. We'll spend the holidays in Western Washington and then head back over here for a month at the beginning of the year. It has been such a blessing getting to know this precious couple and settling into our new home! God is soooo good! I'll post more pics tomorrow, but for now you know about our wonderful miracle! Praise the Lord, we have a home!
Update: You can read the story that leads up to this answer to prayer here.
Then, you can read the rest of the story and see more pictures here!
I've been working myself up to writing this post. It's a daunting task. I mean, when God parts the Red Sea it just doesn't seem to do it justice to say, "God parted the Red Sea." With those words you can't see the height of the walls of water on either side. You can't feel the dry sand and rocks under your feet. You don't hear the shouts of joy from the shore or the screams of terror as the water washes away the Egyptians.
And yet, I have to try... So I will do my best to tell you about our miracle...(the most recent one anyway;) )
In June of 2012, we began selling and donating our belongings...virtually all of them. We continued through the summer. By the time we moved out of our home in September, we had two beds (ours and the boy's bunkbed), a TV our music equipment, a few boxes of keepsakes and books, and a few personal belongings. By March of 2014, even the beds were gone. We are truly troubadours for Jesus.
Although God has blessed our ministry tremendously and we feel an indefinite call to this touring ministry, we also have felt a growing need for some stability. We need a home. So, in the spring of 2014 we began praying for one. We didn't know what that would look like or even really what we hoped for. All we knew was a desire to have a place to settle in between tours.
This longing and need has continually increased and so have our prayers!
We prayed for
- space - to spread out, to move without bumping into or stepping over things, to set up our recording equipment, to be alone to write/pray/think/study/be, to spread out LEGO creations, to wrestle, to have guests
- internet - to book concerts/church services, to blog, to email, to update our website, to share youtube videos
- a yard - for the boys to run, jump, yell, and get dirty in
- someone to watch our 'home' when we are on tour
- a location convenient and central to our touring areas of Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California
- a Christian "community" to fellowship with when we are home
- a way to minister in whatever community God put us in
Now, pause for a moment. I need to fill you in on some (seemingly unrelated) things that God was doing in each of us as individuals, in the meantime.
1. Our desire to spend time in the Seattle area began to decrease slightly. Now, if you live there and love us, please don’t take offense. We love you too and our desire to be with you didn’t decrease, just our desire to be in the city amongst the hustle and bustle, traffic, and buildings. As our time in Montana increased, so did our love for it.
2. My boys became straight up dog OBSESSED! If you know my family, you know they come by that honestly. But, we haven’t had a dog since Noah was a baby and Josh is…NOT a dog person. Add that to the fact that we live cramped in a tiny trailer and are supported by many as missionaries –having a dog is not in our foreseeable future.
3. Up until this past December, we had very minimal monthly bills, so paying rent or a small mortgage seemed possible, but in December we invested in a newer truck to haul our trailer and found ourselves bound to a greater monthly budget.
4. We had several pastors and friends encourage us to do a ministry tour to the mid-west. WE have begun strongly considering that, but it’s sooo far to drive!
Okay, back to a home... As we continued to pray for a home, Josh and I began thinking through what we may or may not be able to do to acquire a home. We brainstormed about the what (house, apartment?), the where (Western Washington, Eastern Washington, Southern Washington, Montana?), and the how (rent, buy, build?). Here are a few things we had to consider:
After months and months of prayer, we decided to move forward with actively looking for a home. We began searching for houses or property in a few areas that seemed potentially affordable. We looked south of Olympia, WA, south of Spokane, WA and in several places in Montana. We still had no idea how we could or would make buying or renting possible, but we decided to prayerfully move forward and see what God would do.
And you will NEVER believe what our Mighty God has done!
To be continued...(smirk)
Update: You can read the rest of this story here:
Hi! I'm Sarah
I'm so glad you stopped by! I pray you find encouragement and a reason to smile while you're visiting! If this is your first time on my blog, be sure to START HERE.
You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Ezekiel & 1 Peter
(the Bible in a year)
The Gospel of Luke
(Women's Bible Study at Church)
The Seventeenth Swap
by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
(family read aloud)
by Jamie C. Martin
Mother and Son:
The Respect Effect
by Emerson Eggerichs