Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hickory Dickory House

Teena's idea on the title. Jeff wanted to put "In a quadrant" due to the curious layout and addressing system of this town.

Sorry for the delay in posting, but we wanted to wait until information of major significance was ready to share.

We are scheduled to close on a house in Hickory next month (2/22). We opted for a classic colonial style older home that has large rooms, a cozy family room with fire place and a sizable rec room or whatever you want to call it that is a converted garage. The house meets our needs for a large kitchen and entertainment area that makes it possible to host family gatherings and house church meetings. It’s also got a large lot and is centrally located, an added plus which makes it easy to get to work, downtown, or even to our future, still yet unspecified coffee shop location.

There were a few God-things that happened as we were considering making an offer. When we were pre-approved last week, the interest rate was at 5.5. First of all, we didn't expect the owner to come down much, but he did come exactly half-way from his asking price and what we thought we could afford. That seemed like an answer to prayer knowing that we will still be leaning on God to supply our needs. Before we made the offer, we checked back with our lender and asked if the rate was still good. She called us back a few hours later and informed us that it had dropped to 5.125! She told us that she had not seen that type of drop in quite awhile. We locked it in and that is where our rate will be for 360 months. It amazes us to think how the rate was 10% with the first house we ever bought.

So, what’s happening with the coffee shop?

We’ve been concentrating on getting settled into our part-time position as managers of the storage rental facility and on securing a home.

Now that this hurdle is out of the way we can begin laying the groundwork for the coffee shop. Currently we feel it best to work on relationship-building with the small congregation of Living Hope Covenant church, the church we are working with.

So, last night we went with their small youth group to nearby Morganton to do community service work. There we helped carry bagged groceries to people’s cars and pray for them. There are many people out of work because so many furniture factories have closed. Jeff met a man who worked for Drexel Heritage for several years and retired just prior to the industry relocating to China. He was much better off (but still in need) than many who had their jobs whisked away without having other skills. Many never finished high school in order to secure work at the plant. The Outreach Center (where we volunteered) has their hands full helping people pass their GED’s and training them to learn basic computer skills. We learned much from “TOC” and think we will be doing more of this type of service via the coffee shop.

We’ll meet with some of our core leaders this Friday night to get better acquainted.

We may also have a Superbowl gathering at another leader’s home as sort of mixer.

All this is leading up to future small group meetings, which we feel will be a good start on our coffee shop foundation.

Goals for the near future in addition to this include making contact with a NC non profit assistance organization to help us determine the legalities of this type of ministry, write a business plan and perhaps apply for a loan.

Once we figure out how we will operate and how much we need, we’ll start looking for an actual location.

Current needs to pray for:

Truck or van for Jeff for transportation
Lawn mower for our house since we had to leave ours behind
Knowledgeable person to help us determine business plan and business aspect


LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

Teena and Jeff,

So glad to hear about the house! I know that getting settled in will be a huge burden off your shoulders. Sounds like you're making good progress!


Teena Stewart said...


Thanks for the words of encouragement. We are still dickering with the owner over demands. The primary one is for a new roof. Currently we are still waiting to hear back on that. Hopefully he will comply. Most people are anxious to sell their homes considering the current market.

Joel McMinn said...

Hey I'll see if this looseygoosey bunch of guys at breakfast can focus a little to pray for your meeting at 2! Sure feels like a God thing