How do you decide which house is where you will spend at least the next six months of your life, when the neighborhood is new to you and you really have little idea of what to expect? This time of uncertainty is likely one of the most stretching, faith-testing experience that I have had, and it is exactly what I need. I am amazed at the work of God, whether it is through people who have willingly given advice or in Him showing us several possibilities where I thought there were none.
Friday Marvin Stoll, Zachary and I went down to Atlanta to look at several houses. Christy and I have been wishing for a three-bedroom house for several reasons: flexibility to host friends, family, or people who God will bring into our lives, room to breathe (I think we have some adjusting to do in regards to city life :)), and options in using the space for future projects. At one time I thought the only possibility for housing was an apartment or duplex due to the high prices. As we continued to look online, talk to realtors, and talk to Seth, the resource coordinator at City of Refuge, we found several homes that were at least close to what we were willing to spend. Marvin and I looked at about seven houses, and when we left we both had the same impression of there being two that were definite possibilities. It felt very good to have someone else give their opinion, rather than relying only on my own. Knowing that we have something tangible is very reassuring. The first house we looked at was shown by a realtor referred by City of Refuge. Both Marvin and I were very impressed with him. He owns the house and is very flexible with the lease length, which is wonderful with our uncertainty as to how long we will be there. He is also open to selling the house if we would be interested later. And, the rent is the lowest of any that we looked at, and is in a rebuilding neighborhood. I like the idea of being part of something that is improving.
The last place we saw was the other that we felt was worth considering. I did not have a realtor lined up for that one, but we walked around and got a little impression of the neighborhood. It is slightly closer to the mission, has 2 bathrooms instead of one, has a nice sizable back yard completely fenced in, and according to the pictures I saw online is nicer inside. The negatives are that the price is a good bit higher and the lease is a year.
We are meeting with our advisory group (not sure if that is the best description for them – we are thrilled that several couples willingly agreed to help us by giving input) Tuesday evening to discuss what we found, then Christy and I plan to go this Wednesday to look at the two houses and hopefully one other that I talked to another realtor about. We are excited to see the search narrowing. All the houses are ready either now or within weeks. We hope to have settled on which house within a week and then begin the paperwork as soon as possible. Hopefully we will be moved within three weeks. Of course, that is just me talking. We are more than willing to go now or later, whenever God says. I am simply grateful for the opportunity to serve in a small part of the work, and trust God to do a continual work in my life to know Him through service.
Please pray with us as we get closer to moving.