Friday, August 22, 2014

The Parsonage God Prepared

A big storm was brewing. We could hear thunder rolling. We needed to pick up our son from school, so we quickly toured the house and told the owner we would be in touch. They thought we weren't really interested. But we arranged to go back to see it again. We knew God had reserved that house just for us.

Our second year in Gloversville, we desperately needed a parsonage. We were very cramped in our two-bedroom apartment, which also had to serve as Bob's study, my writing office, and church office, so we began to look for a house to buy for the church. Many houses were for sale, but the mortgage interest rates were well over ten percent, and a minimum down payment of 33-40 percent was required.

As we made this need known to our prayer partners, money began to come in from unexpected sources. A letter came from a former classmate from the University of Alaska, whom we had not been in contact with since our graduation 12 years earlier. Now the vice-president of Alaska Airlines, he had come to know the Lord and was attending an Assemblies of God church in Seattle, Washington. He had read about our new church planting in The Pentecostal Evangel. Surprised to read that Bob was an Assemblies of God pastor, he sent us a large donation. My grandparents also gave us a large money gift toward the down payment.

After looking at many houses for a year or more, one afternoon our realtor showed us a house on Third Avenue that had recently come on the market. The owner had spent the previous two years totally remodeling the old Victorian house. It was just what we were looking for and more--a living room and a parlor with pocket doors, new appliances in the eat-in kitchen, a separate dining room, a bath and a half, a beautiful antique wood staircase with a stained glass window at the lower landing, four bedrooms upstairs which offered plenty of room for offices, a full basement, a full attic, and everything newly insulated. It even had a stairway from the kitchen to the back upstairs bedroom--the maid's quarters? The color scheme wasn't my favorite, but I thought I could work with it. A large carriage house out back served as a three-car garage.

With the help of the New York District officials, we were able to negotiate to purchase the house at very low monthly mortgage payments.

Sometimes when we think God is slow in meeting our needs, He is busy preparing just what we need. We had looked at many houses, but all of them would have required renovations or other work. Neither of us are gifted in carpentry or other skills needed to remodel, so God took care of it for us. The only thing we had to do was put up paneling in one bedroom to create an office for Bob.

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