Yes, that's right. We finally found a homeowner who is willing to rent to us for the next four months. Up to now have only come upon homeowners willing to lease for 6-7 months minimum. Our hope continues to be that we might buy a home some time in December. This leaves us with a 3 1/2 month gap between Sept. 5th and mid-December.
We have been praying that God would provide a rental house within a mile or two of the community where we plan on living long term. Our Lord has done just that, and at a great price (for Las Vegas standards). Thankfully the homeowner has agreed to half his normal deposit. We should have the funds we need by Monday in order to move in Sept. 3rd. Pray that all will go smoothly.
Pray for the relationships that we will have with our new neighbors. Even though we will only be there short-term we are praying that God will allow us to connect with three new families and to share our lives with them in the gospel.
We are also meeting several families from the North Las Vegas area that are expressing an interest in being a part of this new worshiping community. Our close proximity will also make nurturing those relationships much easier. Soon I'll write more about our plans for gatherings with these families beginning in late September or early October.
Another reason that we wanted to find a rental home central to what will be our final landing spot is to be able to begin some relationships with the local schools. I am hopeful to do some tutoring at the high school just down the street. Pray that doors will open up in a couple of weeks when I approach the school administration. Please pray for one or two relationships with students there. As much as I want to serve them I'm also looking forward to what I'll learn about the Las Vegas culture from these teenage citizens.
I have been promising to update you on our fundraising progress. September will be a key month as several churches who have expressed an interest in partnering with us will be meeting to make decisions about their budgets for next year. During September many of our personal friends will also be deciding whether and how much to commit to our ministry work as well. Please continue to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out his workers with full provision.
Our budget for the first 3 1/2 years is around $681,000. The Pacific Presbytery will allow us to begin our work once we have raised around 75%, or $510,000. Thus far we have seen commitments of around $235,000, putting us just about half way to what we will need to begin. As we close in on meeting our funding needs I look forward to updating you regularly on the progress.
My church planting partner, Eric Phillips, arrived in town safely late Saturday night. He and his family are settled into the condo that has been provided for them free of expense while they make their transition. We are grateful to be in close proximity so that we can pray together again regularly.
One final thought: This week I've been pondering the Biblical account of Mephibosheth in the O.T. King David showed unbelievable kindness to this lame descendant of the outgoing dynasty because of his faithfulness to the covenant he had made with Jonathan, Mephibosheth's father. Of course, we are all beneficiaries of God's faithfulness to his covenant promise of redemption. We have been brought near to the table of great David's greater Son. My heart has been experiencing fresh joy over God's kindness. My heart has also been challenged to realize that our position as recipients of the King's grace means that we have only one kingdom to expand...and it is not our own. This touches every area of life as we live at the King's table. Think about it.