Tiny House, Mighty Angels!
By Dianne Holland
The following is a true story, shared by Dianne Holland, of how simple acts of love and kindness can have such huge impact on others. Thanks, Dianne, for sharing your experience!
First a discontent, then a seed thought precipitating anticipated action, followed by hesitant wonder at the enormity of it all. What!! Leave our lovely, comfortable, fair-sized home in Okanagan Falls for who-knows-just-what in Summerland? Well… we do commute at least twice weekly for activities at SBC – it would be nice to not have the commute. We could participate more… but we wouldn’t have an excuse for saying “No, ya know, the travelling distance.” Okay, we’ll do it. God will open the way...
Chaper 1: August 2017 – Gotta paint the house exterior and finish the wrap-around deck to sell for optimal price. Up the ladder, UP the ladder, UP the ladder – deftly avoiding the scorching summer sun. Oh no, a second coat! Now it’s really hot – 5 a.m. action.
Chapter 2: Housing in Summerland. Hmmm… a little more of a challenge than anticipated. OK, Lord, what would You have us do? Perused a local mobile home park - not quite what we were looking for, Lord.
Speak to the park manager. A residence has just unexpectedly become available and a few minutes later we are knocking on the door of a tired old trailer that will require a lot of work. Lord??
We entered and were greeted by a loud authoritative voice telling us “$15,000 cash by Friday”.
An immediate quick check of the house envelope for leaks, mold, etc… came up clean. Done! Ooooh – 800 square feet… that’s it?
Chapter 3: The impossible deal was done on a handshake. No possession date was possible ‘till after Probate. Start renos as soon as you like… You can’t do that! Real Estate just doesn’t work like that…. Impossible. But then, was this not God’s gift! That’s when the 13 SBC angels showed up to help (details in a previous blog.) They ripped, destroyed, filled, fixed, built, painted and each gave 4 hours of their busy lives to show their Christian love and welcoming spirit.
One wonderful senior couple showed up with 8 large pizzas and coffee to feed the whole crew – wow! Another individual provided a beautiful lasagna dinner, complete with garlic bread, for our evening meal. Such caring!
The next angel passed by our ‘new’ house on her daily trek to work. Didn’t really know us but she was another SBC angel. No water? No bathroom? Here – we’re your fairly near neighbours. Take the key to our house for as long as you need it. (Impossible – those things don’t happen!)
An amazing senior angel couple invited us for a meal – so much appreciated. Then it was topped off with a bedroom, and the unbelievable kindness of offering it for as long as we needed it just so we wouldn’t have to commute to and from OK Falls. Then more meals and more kindness. Assuming we were financing two properties, they even volunteered interim financing to see us through! We were happy to not accept the latter but rejoiced once again in the kindness of God’s people.
Then there was the angel who kept showing up at our door – How can I help? He fixed things, wired things, hauled tons of ‘stuff’ to the landfill and was just a downright angel in so many ways.
Chapter 4: OK Falls house sold - 10 days to move! But our ‘new’ house is not yet livable! It now has floors, paint and tentative heat and some running water but, oh dear, it won’t be ready for another month no matter how hard we work. OK, let’s store our belongings and motel it.
Unheard of! 3 sets of SBC angels offered us their homes. We ended up spending an unexpected 7 weeks in the home of an SBC couple. A more gracious host and hostess we could not have experienced. Once again we were blessed by God sending so many willing angels into our lives.
Chapter 5: Kitchen cupboards needed. $11,000 for a Penticton business to install. Nope. What now? A trip to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store in W. Kelowna for a variety of things was another answer to a prayer that had not yet been voiced. There it was! A complete kitchen set just waiting for us to take home. Ken thought and looked and measured and re-measured while pondering on a pile of rolled up rugs. Would it work? Not modern… in reasonable condition… would it fit? Go for it! Only the Father could put us in the right place at the right time to provide for a very real need. And it looks ok, doesn’t it? It was beautifully installed by another (hired) SBC angel who also installed the floors, moldings, counter tops, tile backsplash and appliances.
Kitchen cupboards need handles and the handles needed cleaning. Enter another angel. While watching favourite a TV show, she and hubby scrubbed handles. Then scrubbed out the cupboards. Then installed the handles. This latter task was a little more challenging – but oh, the willing spirit!
Transformation from this...
Was I always grateful? No, there were times when I really wanted to burn the place down and forget the whole thing. I was overtired, angry, frustrated, hurting and well, just plain done. Thank God He understands all our frailties and sees us through them!
Angels continue to bless. An unexpected but so appreciated invitation to dinner; a couple who drove all the way from Penticton to bring us an evening meal on moving day; the unwell, next-door neighbour whom we barely know, shoveled us out of a recent snowstorm (Ken and I both temporarily limited to shoveling as a one-armed task); the two knowledgeable guys who showed up to fix a number of things that were in desperate need of repair and time was getting very tight. The caring concerns, the phone calls, the unexpected visits, the expressions of love all add up to confirm that this impossible move from OK Falls to Summerland, so we could be better involved in SBC, has been totally orchestrated by the One who cares above all others.
Soon, as God enables, we will be in a position to be angels to others. What incredible joy to be the recipients of such unexpected, overwhelming blessings – over and over and over. Sing it with us ‘…They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love, they will know we are Christians by our love.’
We have found SBC to be well-known in Summerland for the caring, loving spirit of its people. We are proud to now be part of the caring, sharing SBC true family.