Friday, October 1, 2010

And now, the rest of the story….

Ever since I spent a summer in college in the Philippines with Campus Crusade for Christ I have wanted to do more short term missions and mission related activities. Like so many excuses we fall back on, life just seemed to be in the way of doing this. In May I was able to break this justification cycle and was able to take B and C to Guatemala for a quick trip to work with Hope for Guatemala. Somehow, we magically had enough $$ to purchase 3 plane tickets and didn’t have to pay for much else while there serving and helping at Hope. Just before going on this trip I had picked up Crazy Love by Francis Chan, which Melissa had lying around the house. It really got me thinking about what we were doing with our time, resources, lives, etc… It was a really thought provoking read and meshed nicely with the trip we were getting ready to take. In the back of Crazy Love are some examples and information of places that are doing Gospel powered work. Due to our “bent” towards orphans I was intrigued by the description of Children’s Hope Chest and I recognized the name of the director, Tom Davis. He had been mentioned in a note I read from a member of our church discussing orphan ministry and one of his books. So while looking for a good read on the plane, I ran across the one and only book at Amazon by Tom Davis, Red Letters (this was not the one mentioned in the letter above). Now, here me and my 2 oldest daughters are in the middle of one of Guatemala City’s worst neighborhoods loving on the most beautiful children and this book is talking about doing the things that Jesus said, you know, the ones that are written in Red in your bible? There’s a novel idea, if Jesus directly said them, maybe we should pay attention and actually do them! Now I’m REALLY beginning to question what the Freemans have been doing the past 3 or 4 years with our finances, resources, houses, etc… as we spend our days “ministering” to these children of Hope. Funny who really got ministered to, huh?

There is local pastor here in B’ham really making waves in the Christian community for his outspokenness and uncanny ability to teach the bible like you’ve never heard it. I had heard he recently published a book called Radical. While looking for more Tom Davis materials, once again I ran across a single copy of this book while at Amazon. I’m beginning to wonder about these single copy books just sitting by their lonesome waiting for me to come along and find them, God is sneaky like that you know. Coming off our trip to Guatemala, Crazy Love and Red Letters, I devoured this book in 2 days I think. I was visibly crying at times and Melissa was really freaking out! When I started reading some of it out loud to her, I could hardly contain my emotions, she knew God had snatched a hold of my heart and wasn’t letting go! It was going to be a wild ride; you could see it in her eyes as we talked through all of this, God was capturing her heart anew as well.

We knew we had to sell our house for sure then, no doubts about it. Note, it had been for sale for a year already, but it wasn’t really for all of the right reasons. I then had to pay the electrical bill for this house and said enough is enough! Even if making the mortgage payments on this house weren’t an issue, I could no longer justify the utilities for it when there are sooooo many more things I should be doing with those financial resources to help the poor, the orphan, the widow, etc… I came home from work on a Monday afternoon and declared that we needed to be out of this situation, asap. This was not only for our financial stability, but for our spiritual stability as well. We called our realtor and dropped the listing price $100k.

I won’t say how much less this was from what we paid for it, but remember the time machine? You can go back and do some figuring, based on the market flopping like that annoying gold fish on the psa commercials, between 2007 and now. We had a contract in hand 48 hours later! God finally quit laughing at us with Jesus rolling His eyes and wondering when we’d ever “get it”. On that Monday afternoon He finally saw us grow up, and He responded! We closed on this house that has been an albatross around our necks for 2 years and has stifled our ability to live in a Gospel powered way this past Tuesday. We are moving into the house we had unknowingly been “flipping” for our own family to move into next Monday. I mean seriously, who has ever heard of a nearly 3 year flip project? Only God and only Chris and Melissa!

We will in essence be debt free for the 2nd time (excluding a modest mortgage) and will have lost well over a year's salary in the process. WE are humbled, broken, saddened, and so freakin overjoyed in God's glory and love, all at the same time! It's hard to explain, but we feel awash in God's love and power in a way our family has never known. I can't wait to see what's in store after closing down this chapter and beginning a new one next week, just down the street from where we are leaving this weekend, but spiritually and emotionally a million miles from where we have been "living" the last 4 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment