God allowed us to be sifted this week
There are some things in lives “lived in mission” that are clear, others that are not clear. Some we think we hear and we move forward in obedience and wait and listen as we go. But one very clear mandate we have is our calling as Communitas, and our calling to replicate and replicate into the neighborhoods into which we’ve entered.
This week, we were in the very final stages of launching two more communities, one I was moving to… then came the thunder…. We do not presume to have God figured out, to know what He’s doing, what He’s allowed and where the lines are for good ole Spiritual Warfare. What we know is that we had “the rug yanked out from under us”… here is our week:
1. The team launching the new community in the Bayou St. John neighborhood (faubourg, here in New Orleans), doing what the mortgage company told them to do in consolidating their student loans, suddenly had their credit scores plummet simply because they now have a new [consolidated] loan account… SO they HSA loan they had for the shared building purchase is out of reach. They are looking for very scarce rental properties. We don’t know when they’ll identify where to move and therefore when.
2. Faubourg Marigny Community launch was mere days away! It was the final day, last afternoon for the buyer’s inspections and they would be locked into the sale. A random inspector makes an off the cuff comment that he thinks the house has the “bad Chinese Dry Wall” so infamous in many states, but concentrated here due to the Katrina recovery vortex of building. We instantly lose our buyer and we’re stuck with a house that is a leper. We have to spend big bucks to get a professional company to inspect and either a) confirm it is bad dry wall (sheet rock) or b) it is actually okay. By the way – we have NO symptoms! We simply got accused. Now, we may have it – but we don’t show symptoms which are pretty clear. If we do have it – it means a year minimum delay in actually moving. It could mean, if it is sheet rock by a Chinese company refusing to settle the class action suit, and denying culpability or even being subject to US courts, we could be faced with years of delay in moving – it’ll cost $50K to completely gut and restore the downstairs of this house – EVERYTHING has to be changed and re-installed. We have to wait for a week to get our results. It’s going to be a long week!
3. Then, last night, after a heavy spiritual warfare situation with a lady in need, two of our members were rear-ended by a drunk driver.
God was clear; His mandate non-negotiable. Yet, we’re slammed right as we’re about to launch. Why? Why God? Where are you? You sent us and we seem to constantly fight uphill – lack of fiscal support – lack of conventional churches behind us – now these trials – BUT we KNOW you sent us. We have to obey and go. Is it character building? Are you developing our character? Patience? Endurance? Fortitude? Teaching us to be content? Teaching us to trust in the dark?
At the end of the day of course, we want this over NOW! Yet, as we Christians (in general) are pretty tough on the people recorded in the Bible for their lack of trust in tough times to which they did not know the answer. Yet, we must, must, must be faithful, from the inside of ourselves, remain trusting, content, patient, and rest knowing He has sent us, has called us, and is working. We don’t have to understand or have answers. We merely choose to trust.
Am I just writing nobly and in the real world behind the key board, not doing well? I’m trying really hard to do this one right… Stay tuned. There are plenty who are great role models in this. I will emulate them as best I can.