Until now we have been living in a typical Spanish (or better: Andalusian) village for quite some time. It really is a beautiful place. But a big disadvantage is that we have not yet mastered the Spanish language very well and little (almost no) English is spoken in this village. So it had been going through our heads for a while: we need to live somewhere else, in a place where we can be more effective. A place where we can connect with people more easily.
We started praying for it, and then we came to the conclusion that it would be better to live in the area near the sea. Many more English speakers live there, which has a lot of advantages.
We started looking for a house that seemed suitable and then we came to a cottage that we liked. And because it came in a pretty special way, our conclusion was quickly: this is from God, we’re going for it.
Financially it was a complicated story, but since we had decided that this choice was from God, we decided to just go for it and have faith.
But … things didn’t exactly run smoothly.
“God will take care of it.”
No, it did not went smooth at all! We had to pay the brokerage fees (for arranging the rent). We were just able to scrape that amount together. To pay the deposit (guarantee) we had to use the credit card. So in effect we were borrowing money then. Actually, that was a good time to pull the plug. But since we had already made a choice, we decided to go ahead anyway. Who says A, must also say B.
Our thought was: God will take care of it.
And He did, but not in the way we expected!
My brother and some friends here helped with the move. Quite an undertaking!
Then, on the day of the move, something happened that we had not experienced before in these 9 years (!) of living by faith, i.e. trusting God.
I was at the gas station with an almost empty tank from the moving van and then had to ask my brother,“Um… can I borrow some money, I don’t have enough to fill up the tank.”
Then I did begin to worry. This was the first time in all these years that we really ran a deficit and had to borrow money to pay this bill.
In the new house
When we arrived at the new house, I immediately had a very bad feeling. “We are not in the right place here. This house is totally not suitable for us. Why did we choose this?” The house may have been in a very nice location, right by the sea. And near English-speaking people. But it was a lot smaller and older than the house we came from. We knew that, but now that we were standing there with all our stuff we could see how inconvenient this was.
And: we didn’t have enough money to pay the rent. An amount was on its way to us, the other party had informed us – but oddly enough, it did not arrive. It should have been there a long time ago, but it had not yet been credited to the account.
When the amount would be in, we could pay everything off immediately. But the amount had not yet arrived.
That evening we received an email from the real estate agent: if we wanted to transfer the rent for the first month, because it was not in yet.
Lord, are we on the wrong track?
After a night of bad sleep, we looked at our bank account in the morning. The amount was still not there! How crazy! This is not normal…
Evelyn and I started praying, “Lord Jesus, are we in the wrong place? Did we get it wrong? If we should not have gone here, will You make it clear to us? Then we turn right around and either go back to where we came today – if that is still possible – or we go somewhere else.”
A few hours later, the unbelievable happened. We received an email from someone from Germany. Someone we have never met in person, but have had some email contact with. He was unaware of our move. He wrote the following:
He writes: “I had it on my heart to send you some money…. but I feel it is not the right time.
Maybe it means something to you“
Wow! What an immediate answer to prayer! Now it was completely clear to us that God had closed this door to us.
We were immensely pleased and grateful for such a clear answer.
After all, who sends a message like that? “Hey, I wanted to send you money, but it doesn’t seem like the right time.” We had never experienced that before! It would make more sense if he had simply not sent a message.
He also wrote later that he found it difficult to send this message because we might take it the wrong way.
We immediately called the owner of our previous house. Is there any way to go back? Yes! He wanted us back and he even offered a lower rent!
It was a huge effort to repack everything for the second time, rent a bus again and move all the stuff back. With the help of dear friends, the job was finished within a few days.
Still, I felt very foolish to be honest. We had obviously not listened carefully to the Lord and jumped to conclusions a bit too quickly: “God spoke” by taking these steps without it running smoothly.
Yet what prevails in this whole experience: what a good loving God we have! He speaks clearly and He knows exactly why we had better not live there. He had different plans than we did. But He is also so gracious: all the financial losses we suffered due to this double move have already been repaid – God is good!
And besides: we have more contacts in the area by now. New doors are opening, including in a local church (in Ronda) that we have been visiting for a few weeks! In cooperation with a Dutch church and this local church, a week is planned in August for teenagers to evangelize and deepen their faith. An old friend from Holland contacted us about this. We have been given all the space we need to flesh out this week and we look forward to seeing what will happen there!