Saturday, November 10, 2007

I was afraid to believe it was true, but I’m so glad it was!

Tina opened a letter from our mission agency and said, “Hey, look at this!” She showed me that two significant special offerings had come in.

One was for $400 from Sierra Baptist in New Castle, California. (Thank you!). I had preached at a mission’s conference in their church just a few weeks ago. They paid for my airfare, around $500, and this $400 love offering was on top of that. It was a great meeting and we are grateful for the love and support.

The first special offering we could understand, but there was a second one. Tina read the second item to me, “$2,500 from Puyallup Community Baptist Church, Puyallup, Washington has been given as a special offering.” My heart beat faster and I was astonished, then a bit afraid. Maybe it was really $250 and it is a misprint. They are a supporting church, but I had not heard about any mission’s conference or anything.

I gave the church a call and thanked them for the offering. I spoke of my momentary doubt and said we just wanted to verify the amount before we wrote any checks. The secretary said the church did not have any special missions program that month, but that an individual who wished to remain anonymous gave just such an offering to our ministry.

The secretary said,”It must be a great feeling to receive an offering like that all at once, when you were not expecting it.”

She was right about that! Amen and may God richly bless both Sierra Baptist of New Castle, California and Mr. Anonymous of Puyallup Community Baptist Church, Washington!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The other shoe..? I hope so!

"If any body from the government calls, tell them you are not paying rent, that we are just letting you use the building for free."

Tina got this odd phone call from the owner of our church building last week.

Four months ago he rejected our regular rent check of $500, and has not allowed us to pay them since then. We were concerned and have been waiting for the "other shoe to drop."
Were they going to evict us? What did it all mean?

We heard that there were problems between the owner, the former owners, missing papers and the tax-man. It appears that they were not supposed to rent it, or have not payed taxes on the rent collected, or..many other variations of that theme.

What this means to us:

1. Our prayer: "Lord show us where we should locate our church" has been answered for the time being! It is hard to beat a "rent free" church building!

2. If we are asked to say we do not pay rent, we don't have to pay the rent. Hooray! That means a $500 saving every month. Even if they start the rent up again, we can't be asked to pay back rent. We have saved $2000 so far.

3. If we must start paying rent again, we may, by that time, have saved enough for a down-payment for a building in a better location.

4. We must live by faith: The rent free situation could last for years or just be a temporary boost for us. Either way, we rejoice!