Last newsletter I briefly mentioned that our family was in the process of moving to a new place, and by God's grace we are moved and pretty much settled. I can't believe how far God brought us these last few months; we went from feeling as if we didn't have the means to move, and had no plans to do so in December, and then God put people around us to direct us to see what He had planned for us. There were so many obstacles between us and moving: budget, know-how, availability of apartments for foreigners, limited time before baby girl arrives, etc.
If I write a book, maybe there I can tell all the ways that God paved the way for us, but for this newsletter I want to share one string of events that showed God's direction and provision for our family. It starts with a Christmas cookie party. We had a wonderful family, Tim, Wakako and their two sons, over to our previous dinky apartment to make Christmas cookies. During their visit, they asked if we had plans to move to a bigger place as our family was growing, and suggested that if we moved to walking distance from the church (our main commute location), it would cut down on transportation costs. This could make more room in our budget to afford a bigger place for our growing family, and for more hosting opportunities. That got our wheels turning! We loved our first apartment though it was small, and it had been close to our language school which had been our main commute, but a move closer to the church seemed prudent at this point in our lives.
That evening Travis, our familly's budget guru, started calculating and found that we could save around $200 a month in transportation fees for commuting if we moved to walking distance from the church. Also that evening Tim, who happens to love real estate, sent us a few links for places available for rent near the church. There were several that we liked, but there was one that I LOVED. It had space, closets galore, it had a tiny yard, it was a townhouse so not so much worry about kid noise for our neighbors, but it seemed beyond our reach. It was at the top of our budget range, which made us nervous, it was available at that time (the end of December), so the odds that it would still be available were slim to none, and there was also the chance that the landlord may not be too keen to rent to foreigners.
In January when we were praying about pursuing a new apartment or not, we had two donors approach us about beginning to support our family mission. We were so amazed and took that as an answer to our prayers. We began looking at apartments, in late January and were happy to hear that the townhouse was still available. After lots of deliberation and prayer we applied for the townhouse and gave notice at our old apartment that we would be moving out. It was hard to wait and not worry about our housing situation that week as we had to be out of our old apartment at the end of the month whether or not we were approved for the new place we applied for! That next week we were elated to hear that we were approved to move into the apartment on the requested date: Travis' birthday February 17th.