Since February of 2018, we have been renting a house that was built by Pastor Edgar Henke, the founder of much of the Church of God work in Itaituba. He passed some years ago, and we were renting from his daughter. As his daughter looked to move, she began trying to sell the house. We were excited for her opportunity to move, but we were worried about having to find a new place to live. Last year the house sold just as we arrived in the US for home assignment. Thankfully we had just renewed our lease.
Upon returning to Itaituba this year, the owner decided to increase our rent by more than 240%. Church leaders here quickly decided we needed to move (we agreed) and arrangements were made for us to move into “the missionary house.” It is a house built for some Church of God missionaries about 20 years ago. It is just two blocks from where we had been living. Various pastoral couples have lived in this house for some years now. The most recent tenants had just accepted the position of senior pastor at one of our churches and wanted to move closer. God’s perfect timing opened the door for our move.
We moved at the end of March, and we have spent the past month doing some work on the house. We have built a wall for privacy and so that the kids can play in the yard without us worrying about them. A busy street runs in front of our house. We’ve had to do some repairs including a new well pump, repair the water tank, and some electrical issues we discovered.
We have now been in the house for just over 2 months. It has a much larger yard than our previous house which gives the kids much more room to play. God’s timing is perfect, and moving just as the pandemic arrived in our region has allowed us a good space for practicing social-distancing.
We are praising God for this move for several reasons. The first is that it will reduce our housing costs significantly. The money saved will allow us to visit congregations in other regions more often once travel becomes possible. We also now have more stability in our housing. Previously we were dependent on a landlord to agree to renew our lease every year. Now we have a place that we can live in long-term. We are praising God for His providence!