April 29th, 2008 youth ranch update/tim’s musings (via postie)

Published Date Author: , March 24th, 2010

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April 29, 2008

Dear Friends,

Well, the last several weeks have been crazy.

First, I started getting more hours at work, so I was able to start paying off some personal debt. That was an answer to prayer. But then I realized something.

I realized that I needed time to complete the revised business plan, re-file the non-profit application, and get my family moved. And I wasn’t getting the time. So I began to explore options that might allow me to take some time off work and do some of this stuff. When I finally asked my boss for some time off work, he said I could have some.

That very afternoon after getting permission to take some time off work, the company I work for got there first forest fire call of the season (VERY unexpectedly). My boss asked if I wanted to go to New Mexico with him to stage and maintain some tents and equipment for the fire camp on this big fire (what our company does). So I went.

The long and the short of it is that I spent a week in New Mexico earning more money than I would have at home, doing a job that gave me more time on my hands than I would have had at home. I finished the business plan update, got it turned in to the mortgage broker trying to get a loan for us to buy the Thorn Creek Property, and started on some other big web projects I had promised someone.

While there, I also did some fasting and praying (that coincided some with my body not liking some of the fire camp food), just asking God to provide us with a new house/location to live.

It’s ironic to me that I have mentioned our need to move in several newsletters now, but I still get people asking me if we have considered moving???? Go figure.

Anyway. To recap, we have to move, for several very good reasons. 1. We want to build a camp and retreat center here on Thorn Creek (NOT raise foster kids here – that’s on a different piece of property). Even if we already owned the land, we would still have to move simply because our being here is in the way of running camps here. 2. We don’t own it yet, and the owners have asked us to move out so they can try to sell the property on the open market at a much higher price than what they originally quoted me. And given that our possible loan has not come through yet, we have to comply. In truth, I see it as God simply giving us impetuous to move out quickly so that He can do what HE wants. God coordinates even the plans of the enemy, and I do not see our moving out as a step backwards as so many people might. We’re just getting out of the way so that He can work.

So we’re moving. Karen and I have both known it for awhile now. We have to move. And while in New Mexico on the Trigo Canyon Fire, I did allot of praying about it.

I flew back from that fire at midnight on Wednesday last week. Thursday, I slept in. Friday, I went back to work. While there, I got a call from Karen saying she had run into an old friend that knew someone else that wanted to rent or sell a big house in Clear Creek. We jumped on it. The owner of this new place is someone I actually knew already, though not well. Karen and I prayed about it together, and in a family meeting Sunday morning, gave the kids the go-ahead to start packing the house in earnest. They jumped on it, and 2 friends of Karen came over with their kids too that afternoon to really kick start things. We hadn’t even seen the new potential place yet – we were going on faith and that feeling in our hearts that we were doing exactly what God wanted us to be doing. (Our house is now over half-packed).

Sunday evening we viewed this new place and made a rent offer that the owner said he would have to think about. Monday morning, I just “happened” to run into the owner of that property again, and we talked about money specifics. While talking with him, Karen just “happened” to call me with news that she had “just” worked out a financial deal with her bank to have the money to rent this house immediately. I relayed this on to the rental owner, and shook on the deal. It was all VERY God-fingerprinted, between the timing, the “coincidences”, and everything else about the deal.

The last hurdle remaining is to get the home owners association of that development to ok our rental agreement and possible option to buy (as a future foster home in our organization). If we can do that, we’ll be moving immediately, and I’m ok with it. It’s hard to leave this place behind if for no other reason that simply because it has been my home for exactly 4 years. But I recognize God’s fingerprints behind everything happening, so I’m taking a deep breath and plunging in. Thorn Creek will still become a camp someday, but it’s in God’s hands now.

Yes, there’s still a ton of logistics to work out about moving. Like, where do I store all the construction supplies that I have bought, salvaged, and have been given, to go towards building/renovating the camp? Or where do I store the 3 RV’s and other work vehicles we have bought or been given, to be used for college students and work staff while renovating and operating the camp/ranch? These are prolly my two biggest remaining unanswered logistical questions.

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews, in the Bible).

In faith, I moved up here by myself 4 years ago this month, dreaming of a camp/ranch for wounded youth. In faith, I put my hands to the task and began to build. In faith, I accepted the help of several key individuals, and together, we began to make something happen, all the while not focusing on the naysayers and the monumental hurdles we would have to cross along the way. In faith, I believed God when he told me 3 years ago that this place would have to house a family before it could house a camp (I was still very single at the time), and that I myself would need to lead a family before I could lead a ranch. In faith, I waited for God’s right choice for my helpmate to show up, and she did eventually, after meeting her online in discussion about the ranch dream. I met Karen only because I had dedicated my life to building a dream God gave me. In faith, I accepted her, and the new family of 8 children that it gave me, believing that God had brought us together to accomplish something. We have lived here in faith for 2 years, believing that God was leading us, even when things got “hard”. In faith, I asked for some time off work 3 weeks ago so I could focus more time on God’s calling for me, and God allowed me go to New Mexico instead, and accomplish exactly what I wanted to accomplish for Him. And now In faith, we started packing on Sunday, not knowing for sure where we were going, but simply following God’s leading.

In faith, I know that God has another house for us to live in for awhile, either this one in Clear Creek that we are waiting for approval on (pray hard *smiles*), or another one.

So what is it that has been lurking in your heart, a secret dream of doing something for God? What is the first small step of faith that you can take, to see if God has truly given you that dream, by Him honoring your faith-step and doing something miraculous with it?

Karen heard a quote recently that I liked. “Faith is like stepping out into the unknown, believing that God will either give you solid footing to land on, or give you wings to fly with.” This is good, but let’s make it more real.

Faith is also like that parable that I have relayed before, about the 2 farmers praying for rain. The one that plows his field in preparation for the rain is the one that has faith that God will answer his prayer for rain. The rubber meets the road here.

I also believe that faith isn’t faith until it’s all your holding on to….. And this kind of faith is hard to walk in sometimes *chuckle*.

But the bottom line is also that faith is only real if it’s faith grounded in the character of God, followed by some action.

Have I always been the perfect shining example of faith? No. I can look back over the last 4 years and point to lots of different times that I screwed up and operated in fear, not faith. But I have learned a lot too, and operate in faith more than I used to. So that’s progress in my book. It’s a learning process, learning to know and trust a big God that sometimes doesn’t make sense to us. But I trust Him. He’s always taken care of me, sometimes miraculously so, and I trust Him. He loves me after all, and I have to accept that, and try to honor Him and His love in return. It’s a living, breathing relationship that I share with Him, and I’m growing in it. I trust it.

I hope this note encourages someone, and I pray that they pull in closer to God because of it.

Sincerely, Tim, Karen, and the kids.

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