That's right! We are getting ready to embark on our very own "Extreme Makeover Home Edition"- O'Leary style! Each step so far has been completely guided by God. What looked like setbacks actually worked out better in our favor!
1. What seemed to go wrong: The town said we needed an engineer to stamp our plans (an additional large cost).
How God moved on our behalf: Jim contacted an architect, Liz, (who happens to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity!) and once she heard about what takes place here, she was so graciously willling to offer her time pro bono. She has put countless incredible work and hours into the drawings of our house to make the plans even that much better use of space.
She has come with us to the town to talk with them about the project. She has come with us to the lumber yard to make sure they are on top of their stuff and pricing things correctly. She has met with our builder to make sure that they are on the same plans and there are as few "surprises" as possible once everything begins.
AND She has gotten her Habitat Team to agree to come and help with the house as well!!!
2. What seemed to go wrong: The initial money was raised a year ago but there was no way for our builders to be able to come here and work last summer
How God moved on our behalf:We just got everything repriced with current pricing and the cost of everything has GONE DOWN!
3. What seemed to go wrong: Our builder had certain people in mind to help him build and each one of them was in a rough place in life and it didn't seem possible that they would be able to take part
How God moved on our behalf: As all this time has passed, each one of those guys are now in a much better place and are able to assist with the project!
4. What seemed to go wrong: After getting the architect to sign off on the plans the town said they wanted MORE validation that the structure was solid and so were requiring a structural engineer to sign off on it which would again be an additional cost.
How God moved on our behalf: A friend of ours called in a favor to a structural engineer and, after assessing the structure of our foundation, has agreed to stamp the plans for free!
SO! Here we are! We have about half of what we think it may realistically cost to finish this project but God has been making it clear that NOW IS THE TIME TO START!
We are so thankful that we are not on this journey alone. And that EACH ONE OF YOU has come alongside us as we are loving our neighbor as ourself. LIVES ARE CHANGING! PEOPLE ARE BEING SET FREE FROM ADDICTION! AND FAMILIES ARE BEING RESTORED! There is so much to rejoice about! Thank you for rejoicing with us!
So much has transpired in the past 3 months! One of the major things that took place, is that the largest news magazine in Europe (Der Spiegel) came to our home to ask us what our thoughts were on "how can politics and society better come around women and their children who have been impacted by the opiate crisis." The article just came out last week. The article has been translated in to English and you can read it here...Der Spiegel Article...
Along with that, every Friday our livingroom has been filled to beyond capacity as th church is growing larger every week. We are so excited for the day when the full amount has come in and building can begin. It will double the livingroom space as well as provide an area where we can all sit down and eat dinner together. So far all of the money that has come in has gone in to a "holding account" until we reach our goal. We have decided that we will start when it has all come in. With the number of people that are currently living in our home, it would be very difficult to try and place everyone somewhere else for an extended time if we attempted to begin the house transformation in phases. We believe it just needs to be done in one big swoop. So construction begins when the final dollar is in.
We have also just begun a relationship with His Mansion Ministries that is based in Deering, NH. They are a Christian Farm Recovery Facility that has "intake" three times a year. During the in-between times they are in need of homes that will house people who have been accepted to their program, so that they can be in a safe place until entrance. We have agreed to fulfill that role for them as best we can.
We have been believing that God will bring in all that is needed at the time that construction is supposed to take place. so we are not worried and we are not stressed. we are so thankful for the house we have now and the ability we have to help those that God brings to our door.
We are so INCREDIBLY THANKFUL for all of you who have come alongside us so far, whether to be a community around those who live here or if you have helped financially or prayerfully. We could not do this without all that has been given. So "THANK YOU".... We will continue to keep you posted as the story unfolds!
I know it has been a while since the last update...so here goes! We have gotten what seems to be the final pricing on materials and labor for the addition. It includes electrical and plumbing as well as the demolition and reconstruction of various rooms on our main level. Both lumber yard and the contractor are working to give us their best pricing because they believe in what we are doing through our home. All of the money that has been given up to date has gone into a holding account until we can reach the final price. That price is $100,000.00. At present, we have reached the halfway point! Which is so exciting and seems like a complete miracle. Thank you so much for your prayer and your support in all of this! You are a blessing!
So MANY EXCITING THINGS HAPPENING! We are progressing to our goal to match the $20,000.00 of the matching grant! THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE!
TIME Magazine also just recently came out with a video showing some of the life that takes place here on a daily basis! Super exciting! If you haven't yet you can check out the video on TIME.com. ( TIME VIDEO )
Lydia also just came out with a book on how to raise children who choose well. You can buy it on Amazon ( "The Power of Choice Raising Children Who Choose Well ") , or from Lydia directly if you are local to her. 50% of the proceeds are going towards the addition on the home and the other 50% will be going to the operating costs of a local homeless ministry in Manchester, the 1269 Cafe!
THANK YOU AGAIN! We are so blessed by you all!