When we moved back to the States 3 years ago, we had some clothes, our instruments, and other random things (like a 70 lb bag full of beads and accessories for our “Colombia to the World” project… lol!).
We had to sell everything that didn’t fit into 8 suitcases.
We arrived to my parent’s house in Sunbury with nothing… no jobs, no cars, no insurance, no certificates that were valid in Ohio to get professional jobs… nothing.
Slowly as the months passed, the Lord opened up doors for everything we needed. We were able to start working, making friends, and finally got to the point where we could make a budget.
As we were praying about where we could live, we knew 3 things: 1) we needed a house- Leo’s dreams for a recording studio wouldn’t be able to happen in an apartment setting. 2) we needed 3 bedrooms- we have people over all the time, and having space for them to sleep was a priority. 3) we could only afford 1,000/month, utilities included.
It was like we spoke those things into existence, and said “Ok God… GO!”.
People thought we were crazy.
As we waited for the right place to show up, I would buy simple things with our little bit of surplus each month. One month it was a set of towels on sale. The next month, it was a comforter set that was on sale. I stocked these little things up, knowing that we would eventually be able to move out of my parent’s basement.
One day, as I was driving my usual route around the city for work, I had the Zillow app open. Most of the houses in this particular area were renting for $1300, but one stuck out at $895. I immediately contacted the owner, and he agreed to meet with us the following day.
We had seen other houses, and upon entering the owners would kind of look Leo up and down, ask him a few questions and just hurry us through the house. Leo never felt peace about those places…
However, when we walked through the door of this particular house, the owner was playing Salsa music, and greeted us in Spanish. Turns out, he had lived in Puerto Rico for 5 years as a teacher… loved Spanish and the Latino culture! We walked through the house and fell in love with it! As we stood in the kitchen and continued conversation, the owner asked us if we were serious about living in this place. We said YES… but we had 2 issues…
This was just mid-February, and we wouldn’t be able to move in until April. Also, we only felt comfortable signing a 6-month lease because we still weren’t confident that Leo’s immigration status would get renewed.
He said yes to both conditions… and then went on to say,
“So, would you mind if I leave some furniture here for you? Where I’m going, I don’t need all of it. I will probably take all the living room and master bedroom furniture at least, but it would be great to be able to leave the guest rooms furnished.”
Leo and I looked at each other in disbelief, and said “of course! Whatever you leave in the house is what we don’t have!”.
So, April 1st rolled around (Easter Sunday that year), and my family all piled their cars up and drove us to our new house.
As we walked in, the owner had a simple trash bag in his hand and said “I just need to pick up a few things”. I looked in disbelief at the fully-furnished house and said “Um, are you sure? It looks like you have a lot to take!”.
“No, as it turns out, I only needed the coffee table and some lamps”. He said.
I couldn’t believe it! The only furniture that we had brought with us was a coffee table and lamps!
My mom happily brought in our comforter set and said “I’ll go make your bed, then!”. (we were honestly thinking that we’d be sleeping in the guest room on a futon).
Each and every person who has come through our doors has heard this God story. We know that we have been entrusted with a house that only the Lord could’ve given, and in response, we share it with anyone and everyone.
We have received a beautiful gift… one that will be OURS on paper later this week! But at the end of the day this is God’s house, and it will always be open to anyone who needs a place to stay, a warm meal, and who wants to hear a lot of crazy stories!
We give because we have received.