“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there…”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
James 4:13-15 ESV
|Our plan was to sell our house in January or early February, then move to a duplex in the Ethnos360 Homes in Sanford, Florida. It was available to us in early March.|
Why the move? Several reasons: It will lower our cost of living, it gives me the opportunity to work more closely with our International Ministries department, and it “positions” us for our senior years.
We are not retiring. In fact, there is a workspace reserved for me in the Ethnos360 home office building in beautiful downtown Sanford. I expect to keep producing Spanish Language Resources for our Latin American missionary partners with our SLR team for as long as God gives me a good mind and nimble typing fingers.
Getting back to our plan… everyone knows the real estate market is hot here in the suburbs of Austin. Our agent told us that if we had a new fence built (which was really needed) the house would sell for a premium in just a few days. That turned out to be a tad optimistic. But after one failed offer and a month of showings (50 of them!), the market did catch up with our asking price. Three offers came in one weekend and we had our own little bidding war!
It’s taken many hours of sorting and packing to make the house “showable” and to prepare for downsizing to an 800 sq ft apartment with no garage to stash the overflow. Our moving plans had to be readjusted several times as we waited for an offer but it looks like the date is firming up pretty well now.
|Then along came COVID-19! Long lines at the store, people hoarding TP and sanitizer, church meetings streaming online and social distancing… How could people have come to see our house under those conditions?|
The next step is the appraisal and approval of the buyer’s loan. Considering the huge hit the economy has taken, we’re holding our breath and praying for God to work things out for our good and His glory.
Yesterday was our granddaughter Kaylene’s fifth birthday. We had been invited to her birthday party but Art and Marlene had to suspend that. We ended up seeing each other for a few minutes at a safe distance and singing Happy Birthday to her in the street, then we shared her gift-opening a bit later by Facetime.
Despite everything, I’ve been able to keep up with correspondence and work on a few translation projects. I was getting geared up for our annual Spanish Language Resources team meetings April 14-16, but that won’t be happening. That works out well, though, since it looks like we’ll be making the move to Sanford in the second week of April — please pray for open gas stations (with bathrooms!) and motels along the way.
In the meantime, God continues to reach out to those who have never heard the Good News. We just received a report that eight Scripture translations were completed in 2019 by Ethnos360 missionaries, and in the first three months of this year, five people groups will begin to hear the story of redemption in their heart language for the very first time, starting in Genesis. By God’s grace, in the next four years we anticipate that Ethnos360 and our Global Partners will begin new works among 34 new people groups! Some of those new works will be led by Latin American missionaries. Is that great or what?
Thank you for praying for us and giving so faithfully to our support. Please forgive our spotty communication during this time. We pray for all of you in this time of contagion and uncertainty.
Serving Him together,
Steve & Eida Irwin
Spanish Language Resources