It was a year ago that Nancy and I discovered the abandoned Poplar Grove Chapel as we were considering a move from Spokane, WA to Lancaster County, PA. The unfinished fifty year old church building had not been used for 20 to 25 years. However, when Nancy and I looked at it we both felt that the building had potential to be transformed into our home. More importantly, we felt the Lord nudging us to reclaim the property for his purpose, for his glory and for our pleasure.
This year has been an adventure of trusting God to bring us through various hurdles:
- the seller’s emotional attachment to the property that almost sabotaged the transaction
- the township bureaucracy that cost us thousands of dollars and several months
- the rocks that slowed construction and added expense
- the two large rain-storms that twice flooded the basement and almost knocked over the new basement wall
- the lack of available sub-contractors due to increased building in this area last summer
- my broken ribs resulting from falling at the construction site
- running out of money before completing the project
- hundreds of small and large decisions that often required understanding and creativity that were beyond our natural abilities
It seems appropriate that, as an act of poetic symetry, God enabled us to move into the place exactly one year after we first looked at the property. For the first time, we slept in our new house last night. We bathed in our new tub, cooked on our new stove, stored food in our refridgerater, ran our washer and dryer, etc.
Nancy and I now live in the house! We reached our goal to be in by Christmas.
To get us to this point we had a productive week that culminated with a passed final inspection Friday afternoon. The plumbing is finished. The floors are done. The appliances are installed. The front door is sealed, etc.
There are still a number of items that need to be completed and we need to move our stuff from storage to the house. However, we are delighted to be living in the house – a gift from God!