On April 15th our offer was accepted during the conference call with CH. I sent out an email to my board and copied Vic, our pastor, on it. I shared that the property, along with improvements and the greenhouse investment , would bring us to $1.2m needed to launch the project. He shared with me later that he was thinking "That's alot of money - we'll see what God does." On April 16th Vic received an email that shocked us all.
I probably need to back up here and give a little of a very long back story. In 2009 we were part of a small, start-up church that met in a living room and then whatever community clubhouse that would let us use their facility. Within a few months God provided a completed sanctuary where we spent a few years. As the church was outgrowing this space, we were looking for a new location. This is where Guatemala intersected our lives and ruined us all forever. Through a series of God inspired events, we took the lions share of our savings as a church, that we had intended to use to get us into a new building, and dedicated it to building homes for desperately poor families in Guatemala. The project became known as the 12x12 Love Project which has constructed homes for almost 200 families to date. Within a few short months God provided the new location: A hip-hop bar whose owners had just been evicted. White leather couches lined the walls, cold beer still in the coolers at the bar. It was a sight none of us will ever forget. A few local business guys had heard what we were doing and invited Vic to lunch. I came along as I was helping with benevolence at the time. After listening to us share how God was doing great things in Guatemala and how He provided a new location, they handed us a check for $25k and told us another $50k was on it's way. The new church was built out, all 11,000 square feet without a capital campaign or asking for money. Another $70k or so came in from a couple of different places and the church was complete. Within a few months of the completion, our family was on our way to Guatemala but that's another story. We had been on the ground here in Guatemala for 3 years when the church had again outgrown it's newer facility. The leadership had been looking for another building; seeking God but unsure what the next steps were. A phone call and a meeting changed everything. A local pastor had been watching, from a distance, the work the church had been doing. Feeling it was time for his exit from his own ministry, he felt God impress on him to give his church and property to our church; 15 acres and a church, free and clear. The church has been recently remodeled and several months ago, the leadership decided to sell off a parcel of commercial frontage. They also decided to commit half of the proceeds to missions and a portion to Project For Hope. We had no idea about the proceeds, just had heard that the property was up for sale. The previous church had tried to sell it with no success. It had been up for sale for over six months when April 15th arrived, without so much as a phone call or inquiry.
On April 16th, Vic woke up to an offer on the property. The buyers were interested in another parcel as well and a contract was signed at twice the asking price! The day after our offer was accepted by CH, we tentatively had half of what we needed to pay-off the property. Bam - just like that! Several weeks later, friends of friends heard about what we were doing and were in Guatemala visiting another ministry. They asked if they could see the future ministry site. We met for an hour, shared our vision to train and employ single moms and widows. Then they left and we weren't sure what to think, but we enjoyed meeting them and sharing the story. Again, God was working and, a week later, they let us know that they were giving $350k to fund the complete greenhouse project. Bam-just like that, again! Not long after, there was another $50k and then another $50k. Bam - bam! I'm not sure if I mentioned that we had not launched the ministry at this point. In August, just a month ago, we finally signed the first legal document and took possession of the property. It's been a trying month.. lots of emergency repairs and improvements. The bank account is a little low but we've seen miracles. He didn't bring us this far not to finished what He started. And so, here we are, launching Project For Hope. We've seen God provide over $750k without so much as a letter being sent out. He is good - and we can't wait to see where the next $450k comes from. Stay tuned for Part 4!
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.