The house hunting process has been full of the unexpected and opportunities to practice trusting God and others. When Dan and I came to Japan we were prepared to live in a studio. I had hope that we would possibly have a one bedroom. Much to our delight God gave us this home. It is small for American standards, but it is more than suitable for our family needs.
As we started searching for a new home we thought we would be in a town home, but our Pastor shared that he had another vision for us. He said he really wanted us to move into a larger house than we are in now. It would be used as a ministry house, a place where we could teach adult and kids English classes, host bible studies and church meetings, and anything else the Lord would have us to do there. We were excited to hear his vision and could see how this would work well with our hearts for hospitality.
Last week Hiroko, a lady who is on the church staff and is working on our housing for us, surprised us with a visit. She informed us that there are not many houses available right now in Rifu. Many people have moved inland since the tsunami. Also I'm guessing not many people move during the snowy winter. Hiroko informed us that there were two homes available now and that we would be able to see them the very next day! One house had some things that weren't the best and when I saw the steep wooden stairs I knew it wouldn't work for the girls.
The other house had ample space, more than our family on our own could possibly need. But once I saw the home I knew it would be an ideal ministry home. The family room and kitchen are together, plus there is a separate larger room (similar to a formal living room) that would be perfect for meetings, classes, ministry, etc.
This home is definitely bigger than what we had expected and is actually more out of our comfort zone, especially for Dan. But we find ourselves having to trust that if God is leading us to this home He has plans that we cannot foresee. He will not let the extra space be wasted.
We talked about the house and prayed through the weekend and felt like God was saying move forward. Just two days later we got another unexpected visit from Hiroko. This time she told us the house owner will rent to us and asked when we wanted to move in!
February 2nd is our tentative move in date, which is exactly one month from when we started this dialogue with our director about moving. We are so thankful God has been working and especially thankful it's been so fast.