A few of you have asked for an update. I apologize once again for my lengthy hiatus from writing here. I really should make it more of a priority, because I know many of you use this as a way to pray about more current events. And I can’t tell you how much I value your prayer. I should let that be reflected in the frequency with my posts here… Thank you for your grace with me.
Life in the Bunch house has been a wild roller coaster this Summer. So this post will be a little lengthy to help catch you up with the last several months.
Many of you know that our apartment building was purchased by a new company in May. We were very nervous about this transition as we had built strong relationships with all of the staff. I’ve written about much of that here.
At first it appeared that it was going to be a great transition and that the new owner would gladly welcome us as a key part of the community.
However, we quickly found out that was not the case. Within the first month of the transition to the new owner, we began to feel that our position in the community was very temporary. We were told by a staff member, that the manager wanted us to stay on the team, but that the new asset manager for the owning company was an atheist and in her research, discovered the Christian origins of our work. She was not okay with this, and made plans to replace us.
We had no idea when we would be removed from our position, but we knew it could happen very soon.
We also knew that we could not afford to live in our current apartment without being the CARES Team. So we were stuck in a transition that we had no control over that would dramatically effect our lives, our friendships, our ministry, our finances and our home.
Not a fun place to be.
At the beginning of June we went on a retreat for a few days with our friends Heath and Katie Newton (check out the last post if you need a refresher on them). We used this as an opportunity to kick off our partnership in ministry by listening to God about his purpose for bringing us together. It was a rich time of listening, dreaming and bonding together.
We came away from this retreat with a dream to one day soon buy homes in the same neighborhood and focus our relational capital on each other. Our dream is to grow in this dream of being a church that actually functions like a family.
We began the early stages of brainstorming a rule of life we would one day adopt in order to make a firm commitment to each other as a family of Christ.
We were (are) so incredibly excited to one day be much closer to each other in order to help make this dream a reality.
The next several months were full of ministry with/to our neighbors, a dozen parties/events thrown all the while feeling like this home and our ministry platform would be pulled out from underneath us at a moments notice.
At the end of August, we were officially told by the apartment management that September would be our last month as the CARES Team and that we would need to move out of our apartment by the end of October.
So we hired a real estate agent and began searching for a neighborhood with the Newtons. Heath had recently found a job as a school counselor in Pflugerville, TX (a booming suburb that borders Austin’s north side to the east of I-35). So we decided we would look for a home in North Austin or Pflugerville.
A little bit of research on home prices quickly narrowed our search down to several Pflugerville neighborhoods. After several days of neighborhood looking and talks with our real estate agent, we decided that the Highland Park neighborhood was going to be the best fit.
My and Sara’s excitement for this neighborhood was extremely exciting to us!
The neighborhood is ripe with assets to build community. The streets are all lined with sidewalks that are well trafficked by walkers, runners, bikers and strollers. The neighborhood shares a hand full of community mail boxes. There are 2 community pools, 2 playgrounds, a basketball court, soccer field, pond, and walking trail.
After narrowing down our search to this neighborhood we soon found the house of our dreams. It had more than enough room for our growing family, a great big front porch and a large gathering area to host large dinners and parties with our neighbors.
After some fairly brief negotiations with the seller we were in contract on the home and set to close on the house September 23. We were so excited to begin moving into the home and getting to know our neighbors.
On September 21, we were told by the loan officer that we were not going to be approved for the loan on the house. Just 2 days before we thought we were going to get the keys…
We were shocked and to be honest, heart broken about it. Our agent recommended that we search for another mortgage company to work with. So we quickly began applying with several mortgage companies. We finally settled on working with one of them who was the most confident they would be able to work around our situation.
Meanwhile one of the men I’ve been discipling for nearly a year who had been experiencing some amazing life transformation found himself in a really difficult situation with the law. I ended up having to dedicate about a week of nearly non-stop attention to him. It was emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausting, but incredibly important.
We are still in the throws of that situation, and probably will be for the foreseeable future.
We had our last party for our neighbors at one of the neighborhood restaurants on September 28. It was a great time together with many kind words of thankfulness for our role in their lives over the last year and a half. We even had a few neighbors throw us a small going away party.
The new loan company looks promising, and we have been told that everything should go smoothly this time. They tell us we will close on the home on October 30.
If so, we will move in on Halloween! Just in time for the whole neighborhood to come knock on our front door to welcome us into the neighborhood! I love the beauty and caos of that idea!
Please pray for us in this transition. Pray that the loan actually goes through this time so that we can buy the home. Pray for relational favor with our new neighbors like we’ve had with our current neighbors. Pray for grace on our friend with the legal issue. Pray for our family’s strength as we make our 4th move in the last 29 months (and hopefully the last for a very long time)!
Thank you again for your grace on my lack of updates here. It is greatly appreciated.