This story spans almost three years. When the seed was planted in our hearts we had one goal: employ single mothers and widows so they could provide for their families. The agriculture sector was the most logical based on the demographics of our area. In the first 18 months we tried, on several occasions, to negotiate agreements to acquire or lease property to get the project off the ground. All attempts failed for one reason or another. We found ourselves frustrated wondering if this crazy dream would ever come to fruition. In retrospect we're so thankful that each attempt fell through... our vision was way to small. Our faith was way too small.
Eighteen months ago a conversation with friends brought us to a crossroad. Did we believe that the vision was God's or ours? If it was God's, why didn't we believe that he would provide? The only properties that met our needs were huge and all had asking prices in excess of $1m USD. We had never done any serious investigation on any of them because conventional wisdom told us that was just plain crazy. We've had front row seats to miracle after miracle as partner ministries launched and were funded and built. For some reason we could believe for our friends around us but couldn't quite see it for ourselves. We left that conversation determined to follow the path wherever it took us.
After spending a few hours on the internet, we found a property here in Magdalena that was a former orphanage and drug treatment facility. The asking price was in fact $1.1m USD. We made an appointment to see the property having no idea what to expect as it is completely closed, surrounded by a concrete wall. On the street the wall was only a few hundred feet so we had no idea what the size was. On Google Maps it looked like a small property with a couple of buildings. When we entered the property we were amazed at what we found. A huge piece of property with several buildings and a large open field, virtually flat (not really but here in the mountains we call it flat).
As we walked around we were stunned. Everything we had dreamed to one day have in the project was already there: houses, a school, soccer field, covered basketball court, commercial kitchen, dining hall, clinic and a huge open field for the greenhouse project. It was as though God built this property just for us!