EXPERIENCE is a very good teacher. Looking back at our house hunting EXPERIENCE from last year, we should have learned from that EXPERIENCE that it is not a simple or quick process. Since deciding to move to a different house this year, we started the process very early, expecting to run into some speedbumps. However, the obstacles that we are running into this time are not quite what we were expecting. We are able to find houses that meet our criteria (and we don’t think our criteria are unreasonable or outlandish. In fact, they are quite common for the city here.) Our criteria are: 1) closer to the center of town for several ministry purposes. When future coworkers arrive, we want to be centrally located in order to get to all of them easily to help with their culture and language acquisition. We also need to be more central in order to connect with more churches, so we can place future coworkers in a ‘host’ church like we were when we got here. 2) We need to be closer to the school so the kids are not having to get up so early and spend so much time on the bus, not getting back so late in the afternoon. 3) We would like 4 rooms, so we can have a small office or guestroom or both. 4) We need a room outside called staff quarters for our guard. 5) We would like a yard area for the kids to play safely outside.
Now, to find a place like that is not hard. In fact, we have seen a handful of places that fit the criteria, but the big problem is the price. Since we are wanting to be closer to town, the price is much higher than we can pay, much higher than what we have saved up, much higher than what we want to pay. The lowest we have been able to negotiate so far is $1,400 per month. And all of the owners request a full year in advance. Well, for 12 months, that is $16,800. We just don’t want to pay that. We think we can wait a couple of weeks to see if they will lower the price some more, but at the same time we don’t want to lose out on these great houses. We talk to the owners almost every day just to keep up a relationship with them, but they do not seem willing to lower the price. We have come to learn (through EXPERIENCE) that the price they are asking for is actually close to the normal price. It’s not just because we are foreigners or anything like that.
So, here we are, with one year of EXPERIENCE under our belts (which doesn’t actually feel like much, but we are so thankful for what we have EXPERIENCEd). We have saved up about $10,000 in the last year, hoping that rent would be less than what we paid last year. Now we find out that rent will be more expensive and we feel foolish for not planning better. We are again reminded that man’s plans are not the same as God’s plans. He wants us to depend upon Him for life. Granted, we are doing everything that we can with what He has given us, and saving some each month in order to pay for rent next year is a big part of that. We have been praying that He would show us the place for us, and we are continuing to pray that He would provide the funds for us to get the house that He wants us in. You all have been with us all along the way and we thank you for standing with us even today.
We are trying to raise $8,000 in order to pay for rent for the year, along with some other expenses that we will be facing. Our taxes are due and we may owe some this year, I’m not sure yet. Also, Amy’s computer is dying and we need to replace it before the middle of April when she will be traveling to Thailand for a language ‘coaching’ course for our ministry.
We know that so many of you already support us on a monthly basis or at various times throughout the year and we are so very grateful for all that you do in order to be a part of this ministry. We will be able to plan much better for next year, knowing what we know now, thanks to this EXPERIENCE. However, right now, we are in need of these funds to fill in this gap.
Please take this before the Lord and see if He puts it on your heart to contribute for this need. We need to raise the full amount this month in order to pay the rent and move in before the middle of April. Please consider being a big part of this ministry by contributing to this.
Go to: www.ntm.rob_ellis/give, or click on the “Give” link toward the top of the page.
Also, attached below is our latest newsletter. You should be getting one in the mail, but if you don’t get one and want to receive one in the future (if you want to be on our mailing list), please let us know.
And just for fun…here is a picture of the kids. Anyone want to guess what they are all looking at?