I have a story to tell.
So get ready.
Are you sitting down?
In truth, this is only going to be half of the story.
Reason being, is the other half hasn’t happened yet.
Does that not make sense? All in good time, don’t worry.
The background of the story lies about a year and a half ago at a place called Shishigaguchi-cho (Lion’s Mouth), Japan. An American missionary and his Japanese wife felt something stirring in them to pray over a gigantic 5,500 square foot house sitting on a 10,000 square foot property.
They had no income to support this, but they did feel a promise from the Lord, and so they prayed. Others joined in with them, many of them are my friends now, yet, each of those people ended up being called elsewhere for the Kingdom.
Cut to roughly about two months ago. The Lord once again peeked another American missionary’s heart for this same house. That missionary is me. I didn’t say anything about it but just felt that God hadn’t just dropped the promise He had given to those other missionaries. I found out about a month and a half later that my co-leader Hailey had actually been feeling those same stirrings about the property.
While I was on a trip with my family, I got a skype call from my community over in Japan. They had called an emergency gathering to pray over a different property that they felt God had led them to. We all gathered together (They, in person. Myself, across the interweb.), and prayed hard over this property and for what God was calling us to.
It was intense.
When I got back, oddly enough, I heard God say to focus on the previously mentioned house. For all intensive purposes, we are going to call this the River House (Guess what is right beside it!). He gave me a command right there as soon as He had brought it to mind.
“Starting tomorrow, wake up at 7:00am every morning, meet me in front of the River House at 7:30am and pray with me until 8:00am until the day I give you the house.”
For anyone who knows me, it is a miracle in itself that I have been able to wake up that early in the morning (despite the fact that I still go to bed around my usual time!).
I told my co-leader Hailey, and the rest of our community in Japan about this, and everyone gathered together in prayer to pursue God’s will for this place.
Now, as you can imagine, a 5,500 square foot house sitting on a 10,000 square foot property in Japan, does not come with a light price tag. The actual price tag on the house when God had called us to pray was $1,000,000. Yet, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, our community, after hearing from the Lord and deciding yes on the house, began to move forward as if it was ours.
We felt the Lord calling us to open up an International Discipleship House for foreigners and Japanese alike to come be raised up spiritually and practically, and then sent out to start their own ministry or to join alongside another.
During my morning prayer time at the River House, I had begun bringing a prayer journal that one of my dearest mentors, Karen Shogren, had literally made out of a one hundred year old book and hundreds of pages of magazines, other books, documents, and relics. Pretty dang cool. About three days in, my personal finances were at a pretty big low. I was not even going to be able to pay my rent, it seemed. Now, I don’t generally get very worried when this tends to happen. More often I get excited to see what God is going to do.
But I asked God to give me a number to pray for. Then I heard Him say $7,000. So, I said okay and jotted it down in my prayer journal. Immediately after, however, He said, “Well, mine as well make that $700,000 dollars, because that is what I am going to give to you for the house.”
So, I said okay, and jotted that down too.
That night my Japanese community had our weekly leaders meeting. Jef, my mentor and Japanese missionary of twenty five years, explained that he had called the realtor to set up an appointment to check out the River House. The realtor had told him the price had gone down to about $750,000, and that we could probably get it for $700,000.
I had tears in my eyes immediately and had to cut off Jef to share what the Lord had spoken to me that morning.
The next day we went and checked out the house. It is perfect. We were already plotting out room assignments and which sections of the houses would be used for what while we were walking through (Don’t worry. We asked God about it later. He had some different ideas in mind as well.).
Okay, switching gears for a second.
For a full month prior, before we had even been thinking of this place, Hailey had had a dream every night that she was at a different Discipleship School named G-42.
She was a tad confused because she knew she was supposed to be in Japan, yet God was clearly trying to send her a message about this other place that happens to be in Spain.
When everything started coming together with the River House, she finally knew what the dreams were for. God was asking her to visit G-42 for a couple weeks to make a connection as well as learn from the leadership and staff who ran the school about how they do what they do.
Now, round-trip tickets from Japan to Spain are generally in the $2,000 region. Hailey had only had $700 in her bank account at the time, so that was going to be a no-go. Then, she heard the Lord ask her to check flights in May. She listened, and guess how much the ticket price had dropped down to.
You guessed it. $700.
Well, to be totally precise, $707.72.
Yup, couldn’t make up this stuff.
Well, I probably could actually. I’m a fantasy writer. But that’s the coolest part. God makes the fantastic possible in real life.
So, this is where I leave you. This is where the first half of the story ends.
This is the cliffhanger.
Perfect analogy, that. Cliffhanger.
Because that is where we are now. Dangling on the edge of a cliff with nothing to hold on to but our faith. We could just decide to pull ourselves up and walk to safety…
But you know what?
I think we’ll just let go instead.