In my last post, I mentioned that we were still working to bring the building project within budget. At the conclusion of a three-and-half-hour meeting with our general contractor and architect on October 31, we had managed to whittle down the budget deficit from $600,000 to $183,000. We had identified some ways to erase the deficit entirely, but these deeper cuts seemed unwise—a little like building car but leaving off the wheels. So, we decided to continue to pray and explore other solutions.
As part of the exploration, the elders decided to reevaluate our current financial position to determine exactly how much we have left to spend. After carefully reviewing all our assets and spending to date, we discovered that we are in a better position that we thought. (When is the last time you heard something like that at home or at church?) In turns out we can cover the budget deficit without incurring any debt.
Providentially, the unexpected deficit matches the unexpected extra we can afford! And that is the good news for which we are thankful.
With this financial hurdle seemingly cleared, we are now focused on getting the City to grant us permits to build. I naively thought this would be a cut-and-dried process. It’s not. It seems more like a negotiation in which the City shoots for the moon, asking for all manner of property improvements which may or may not be reasonable or required by ordinance. Then, the burden is on us to prove their requests are unreasonable or unwarranted. We are in the third round with the City, and still have some things to iron out. Please pray.
It may seem that the obstacles are never ending. But that’s not true. We have and will continue to overcome. Not by our own strength or cleverness. But by something else that never ends: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV).