“Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He had no place to call His own (Lk 9:58). He stayed in various people’s homes, like Zacchaeus’s, and oftentimes under the stars (Lk 19-10, Lk 6:12). Perhaps someone today would call Jesus homeless. His critics may be tempted to label Him a free-loader. But as in the case of Zacchaeus and others (Lk 22:7ff), we know that the Lord of Creation has divine prerogative to use whoever and whatever for His purposes. And He still exercises His authority today. Now He is moving on people’s hearts and minds by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Please take a few moments to see if Jesus is calling you to help us get to Cherokee.
The Challenge for Us
For the next year we will continue to be in transition as we raise support for our mission in Cherokee. If raising support were not difficult enough with all the communicating, planning, and traveling, there are still those logistics associated with moving a family of five plus all the other everyday things in life that demand our attention, and oh yes, maintaining and a healthy marriage and family. Since we need to travel and inevitably move, we are preparing to sell or rent our house. But where do we go in the meantime between here and Cherokee?
Here’s where you can come in. There are a number of different ways you can help us. Here are some ideas:
- If you have a second or third home where we could stay for a few months up to a year, that would be great. The sacrificial part is that you let us stay rent free. We could pay utilities. Although we are currently living on a stipend, our funds are extremely limited. The more we draw from our account the longer we have to keep raising support, which further delays our arrival to the field.
- If you own a second home in Central Florida or maybe in North Carolina, we would love to talk to you.
- Are you looking to join the flock of snowbirds who migrate to Florida every year? You could buy our house now and we would move out by November, just in time for you to enjoy the Florida winter. Do you have house to trade or swap usage?
- If you are looking for a house in Sanford, FL in a quaint established cul-de-sac neighborhood, you could buy our house and let us remain here until we get to Cherokee or until someone steps forward with a second home of theirs to offer.
- Do you have an RV that we could live in as we travel around? Do you know someone with an RV who is willing to loan theirs?
- Are you looking to rent our house for a year or so until the market improves so we can sell it for a better price? Are you looking to rent-to-own?
The Challenge for All of Us
To some people, this sounds daring, crazy, or even audacious. To others, it is creative out-of-the-box thinking, while others see it as a standard approach to finding solutions. In fact, this is not new to us. Many years ago, Regina and I lived rent-free in a vacant house for six months based on a suggestion from an old pastor of ours. The house was for sale, and we house-sat for the owners. It was great. Please pray about what the Lord would have you do with some of the resources He has given you. The Bible tells us that “we have not because we ask not” (James 4:3). John Piper says:
One of the signs that God is going to do a great work is that he begins to stir up his people to pray for it. He lays a burden on a person here and a person there. He brings it back to their mind again and again. It stalks them. It drives them to their knees. Or it catches them on their knees. When God aims to do a great work, the first thing he harnesses is the power of prayer. He starts by planting the spark of desire in a few hearts. Then through prayer he fans it into a flame. Then the flame of desire and faith spreads to others. Soon large numbers are on their knees imploring the great work. Then God acts. Then he pours down his blessing. God loves to do great works of redemption. But even more he loves to do it in answer to prayer. — John Piper, ‘We Have Not Because We Ask Not,’ 1981
Regina and I certainly don’t have the authority to tell people that we are going to stay in their house, but maybe–just maybe–Jesus has gone ahead of us and has burdened someone to help us in this way. Maybe He is waiting for us to catch up with Him in prayer. Maybe He is waiting for you, too. He tells us to “keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking” (Mt 7:7). So here we are asking. If you believe you are called to help us in this way, we would love to talk to you. All for His Kingdom! Patrick & Regina