By Ryan Shaw
We are continuing to look at some of the ways of God in guidance through using the background story of how God provided a wonderful facility for SVM2 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
In the previous post, the neighborhood had required us to delay renovations until they voted on if we would be allowed to use the facility. This was in September of 2015.
I was reminded of God’s word to me in July 2014, that “in two years you will be in a new building.” I was also reminded of the uneasy feeling I had when signing the contract in July 2015 – only one year into the two years.
I then realized that if the homeowner’s approval came in February, then we spent 3-4 months doing the needed renovations, we would be in the property in July 2016 – exactly two years from the original sense of leading in July 2014. These reminders produced confidence that God had been orchestrating the timing of the whole scenario, even the delay.
In early January 2016 I met with the Chairman of the homeowner’s association. He told me he was almost sure the homeowner’s would not approve our case at the annual meeting. Technically, it is against Thai law for a non-profit organization to have offices and activities taking place within a residentially zoned neighborhood.
That morning I had been praying two specific things. First, that God would bring a divine reversal of whatever the chairman might share. Second, that He would put specific words in my mouth to share or ask.
After hearing our case would not be approved, I asked if the situation would change if my family and I made the property our home. If the property was categorized as a residence and not merely a non-profit, would that help?
He said yes, that would satisfy their interpretation of the law. We could legally use a portion for our home while using the rest of the property for non-profit activities.
Many residents in the neighborhood use their homes for offices, businesses, etc and this is acceptable. If we chose to do this we didn’t need to wait for approval from the annual meeting, but could commence renovations at our convenience.
This turn of events was a major surprise to us, though not to the Lord. We had never considered making the property a residence for our family. Yet we continued to have peace that if this was the only way to get into the property, then the Lord was allowing it for a purpose.
We were reminded of the first dream I had in Lagos in 2009 of the large complex. In that dream our family was living in the complex. This confirmed the Lord was orchestrating these events long before now.
His word, “in two years you will be in a new building,” took on new perspective. We had seen it as strictly related to a ministry facility while He seemed to have meant it as both a home for us and a ministry facility.
Due to this turn of events the owner committed to lower the contracted monthly rental amount even more. He sought to help us financially as he knew the renovation costs would be high to convert a portion of the property into a home.