When Tim and I signed up for this missionary life, one of those dreams I'd always had as a girl... owning, decorating, making a house my home... well, it was one of those dreams that I figured I'd put on hold, indefinitely... maybe even forever until I arrived in heaven and then it didn't really matter any more. Not that I've never had the opportunity to decorate and make small changes to the homes in which we lived - I have... but every change we made, it was with the knowledge that our plans were limited by what the owner would agree to... and perhaps even more importantly, the knowledge that any change would have to be restored to its original state when we moved out and that could get expensive.
As a field, the Niger missionaries recently decided that it would be wisest to sell our property in town, condense our land holdings to one property and with the money from that sale, build a new office and at least two homes on the same property as the production studio where Tim works. Thus our rent money would be reinvested into our own property and buildings, and we'd only have the responsibility of maintaining this one chunk of land rather than two. This would also be a huge help to Tim; holding the position of field director which required his presence at the office and also trying to run the studio, he ended up spending some time running back and forth between the two locations. Now, he just has to walk from on building to the building next door.
That was the plan when we arrived back in July... but really, very little interest had been shown in the property, and so I refused to get my hopes up. It was easier not to expect and hope than to do so and then be disappointed. As the end of the year approached, we knew we'd have to move out of our current situation within six months, and so Tim and I were beginning to look at "for rent" signs, talking to other folks who'd recently been house hunting, and discussing what we'd love to have but what was absolutely bare minimum as we began contemplating renting once again - and all the work it usually takes to get a house in liveable condition.
But then... God!
The week before Christmas, He brought an interested party in to look at the property, another Jesus follower who wanted to used the property specifically for ministry purposes. They loved the place. When they asked our asking price, we told them - higher of course than what we felt we needed to earn from the sale... and that was the exact price they felt the Lord had told them the property He had for them would cost... So there was no bartering, no debate... and the deal finalized before 2010 did!
I'm totally overwhelmed because it appears the Lord is graciously allowing one of those little "desires of my heart" to come true long before I ever imagined or dreamed it would. Right now, the early stages of construction... building property walls, putting in some of the necessary infrastructure, etc., etc., etc., are scheduled to start Monday. That's right... in FOUR days! Can you tell I'm a little excited? And I'm not the only one. Tim, the kids, our regional coordinator and his wife (who will also be living on the property) are delighted too. We are now looking forward to a home that we can help design, surrounded by great shade trees, right by the studio where we can all be more a part of Tim's ministry there, with a great yard for our kids to play and have/keep their typical critter menagerie and awesome neighbors on both sides. Although we won't quite have a view of the river from our front door... we may get occasional glimpses,we will see lots of green and there is a almost always a delightful breeze!
So... just so you can dream and imagine with me a little bit... the plan is three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a great room/open kitchen, laundry room, storage room off the carport and an office/school room/guest room, and what might be my favorite... a terrace right out the front door, looking down towards the river~
|Our yard will be terraced above the house, off the carport to the side... here you are looking down towards where our house will be. If you look off to the right, you see the door to the studio.|
|And here's that look off to the right... and the studio door.|
|Standing on the front terrace, this is what we will see. The Niger River is on the other side and down the hill from the trees. The building on the right is the studio.|
|Same view as above... only zoomed in a bit. We're pretty sure that concrete pole, currently used to hold electric wires, will be moved elsewhere.|
|From the front door, looking towards the studio. Tim will have a long commute to work in the mornings!|
|Standing at the studio door, looking over towards the corner where our house will be built.|
Can I say it again, just one more time? I am so excited and I can't wait to watch and help as things progress... and plan together as we put together this home!