This is my second week back home after nearly 7 weeks of living in Alabama. I was by a member of the ITEC board to come up and finish remodeling a house for him. It was a favor to me to help me make some money and get out of debt; and a favor to him because the two people managing it before me were called back to their former jobs. The job was dragging out, so he asked ITEC if he could have me.
As it happened, a 2-week trip turned into 7-week trip and possibly heading back up for one more week of finishing the punch-out list after the painters are done. It had been quite a long time away from ITEC. Not as long as my trip to Ecuador, but when you add up all the time between just these two trips, I’ve been away from home more than a quarter of the year.
It was definitely a blessing from God to give me that opportunity. I was able to visit home in Tennessee, make some new friends in in Alabama, and get some great advice from my boss up there who is a huge part of supporting ITEC and is even on the ITEC board. I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to make new relationships with men who are further along their walk with God than I am and are much wiser than me. It was also really great to get the experience of managing my first professional construction job which I know I’ll need to know how to do.
I have returned home debt-free, my truck is fixed and I have my emergency fund back in place. I am taking the Financial Peace University program with one of my best friends to try and learn how to be a better steward of the money that God has given me through all of you.
Another thing that is in the works and that I am hopeful of, is the possibility of having a partner to work with. The story is long, but I will do my best to condense it.
About a year ago, my brother-in-law, Paul, came down for a week to help me with the construction of a cyclorama wall for ITEC. I had been working with ITEC for a year and was used to being a one-man-band. I had forgotten how great it was to work with my best friend and brother.
We spent a week together building and having a blast doing it. It felt like old times, just like the thousands of projects we had worked on over the years, from the long hours, to the Irish music, to the hundreds of inside jokes we’ve built up over years of being friends.
We finished the project according to plan, which gave us a few days to fish off the Skyway pier in the Tampa bay. Surely there is not better way to finish a job.
Paul left on Sunday morning about the same time I was leaving for church. It was one of the hardest goodbyes I have ever had to make--even harder than when I left home to start working for ITEC. We joked about him moving here as he got in his car and headed home.
I wasn’t really able to focus at church for a number of reasons, but near the forefront of my mind was Paul and all of the great times we had together during this past week and when we lived together in TN. It was hard to imagine that he had to go home, not to mention that I missed my older sister, niece and nephew, and all my family for that matter.
Later that afternoon, Paul game me a call. He was still a few hours from home. Even after spending a whole week together, we still managed to talk to each other for 2 hours! It was brought up in more seriousness the possibility of him and his family moving down. In all honesty, it is something that we have never really stopped thinking about to this day. It is brought up regularly, and we have made efforts here and there, but up till now, nothing has been able to come of it.
Upon my return from ITEC, I was given quite a bit more responsibility, and even the guys at ITEC realized that I was probably not going to be able to keep everything going and do all that they wanted me to do by myself. So they asked me if there was anyone I know that could help me. Of course I did.
At this point, we are still praying about it and asking God to make it clear that this is what he wants Paul to do. It has a lot to do also with if ITEC is able to help make this happen financially. We have so much going on. But ultimately, it comes down to whether or not God wants it to happen. We would move in a heartbeat, but we want God to be making this happen, not us.
We would certainly appreciate your prayers as we strive to find out what God’s will is for us in the matter. I also am so thankful to all of you for your support both spiritually and financially.