Monday morning, July 1st, Debra-the-realtor called to present 3 rent houses for our consideration. (There are 5 Debra's or Debbie's at CCC, thus the hyphenated appellation!) I looked at the pictures she emailed as we discussed them, eliminating one immediately. The other two seemed like they would work. Debra was there, had seen them; and we were here, and only knew what information she could convey electronically and vocally. She and I had talked a lot about our needs and wants; I trusted her judgment. We hung up, and I showed the pics to the family. The landlords of the red brick seemed a little lax, so it would probably be wise to not pursue that one. That left the white brick former-parsonage as our only current viable option.
Meanwhile Debra talked with the manager of the red brick property. "I don't think this is going to work. However, if you hear of anything else, please call me as soon as possible." That was early afternoon. Half an hour later, the property manager called Debra back.
"Teddy _____ just phoned to say his rental property is now available."
Debra jumped on that right away. She knew Teddy. She knew the previous owners. She had been in the house. She knew it would probably be what we needed.
Within just a few minutes, she and her friend Debbie (yes, one of the church folk!) had access to the house and were taking pictures. She called me about 2:45 and enthused, "I've found just the right house for you! It's got everything on your list."
As she enumerated the details, I became quite interested. My response to the photos she emailed was, "I'm sold. Now to contact David at work." He was painting a house. I guess his hands were sticky, because he didn't answer his phone and he didn't call back. All afternoon. All evening.
I restrained myself from pouncing on my work-wearied hubby with the information as soon as he walked in the door.
But I didn't wait long. I was eager for him to know about this and help decide. Not only did I want to find a nest for my chickies, but Durant rental properties are snatched up like hot cakes this time of year. For instance, Debra had taken us to look at two houses when we were there on the 30th, one of which we thought we'd go for. The next day, it was already taken! So, time was of the essence if we wanted this house.
From Debra's description and the pics, David and I got all hopeful...this really looked good. Question was, would someone else get to it first? Debra took care of that. She must be some kind of persuasive, because she convinced the landlord to wait to advertise it until we had a chance to see it. The earliest we could make it up there was Thursday, July 4th. We hated to ask Debra to sacrifice some of her holiday, but she and Teddy were both willing to show us on the 4th. (Thank you both!) And not only would he wait to put it on the market; additionally, if we liked it, he would accept the deposit, but require us to only pay the rent for the last week of July (pro-rated). Then we could begin paying a full month's rent Aug 1st. That means he would be losing 3 weeks of income. Unheard of!
So those of us who will be living in Durant trekked up there, and met Debra at 11 AM. We did the initial walk-thru, becoming more delighted with every step. Yes, this was the place for us! We had the rental agreement filled out and Debra went to get Teddy to sign it. Not only were we on cloud nine because of so easily finding what seemed to be the perfect rental property at a fabulous rent, but our jaws hung open as Debra informed us that anonymous donors from the church had paid our deposit! Now I was joining David in repeatedly exclaiming, "Wow! Amazing!"
As Debra said, "Someone's looking out for you all." And we all know who that is! Praises to Jehovah Jireh!
Teddy gave us the keys, and we waved Debra off to her friends' cookout. We ate a little picnic on the porch. Then we prowled around for a couple of hours, ooh-ing and ah-ing over details we'd formerly overlooked, planning what rooms would be used for what, imagining furniture in position, thinking about where to put the garden, noting some cosmetic changes we'd make, planning decor, listing immediate necessary purchases, taking measurements, and just plain pinching ourselves. Was this a dream?
Not only has the Lord provided a new place of ministry for David, but He has set us down in the midst of a loving church family* ...and now this! The land and the house are beyond our hopes and dreams. (I'll tell you more about that in another post.) Gratitude wells up and tears swell up, and we rejoice - once again - in the provision of our tender and gracious Heavenly Father, from who all blessings flow!
*As Jim, the preacher who is leaving at the end of July, put it, "This is a good place to heal."
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no shadow or variation due to change." James 1:17