Sunday, June 8, 2014 was a historic day for Awaken Church.
After years of searching, praying, and dreaming, I announced that we are under contract to purchase our entire shopping center, Riverside Center! We would own the building we currently inhabit as well as the other 2 buildings (totaling 32,000 sq ft) and all 5+ acres they sit on!
We’ve been searching for a building for so long to no avail. Everything we’ve found up until this point has been too expensive, too small, or too far away. It’s been frustrating at times, but we’ve always known God to be faithful and abundant in His provision for us. And He’s always right on time!
Because Awaken is only 4 years old and we don’t have millions in the bank, banks don’t want to spend much time talking to us…until now.
The perfect storm
Riverside Center is unique. It fits us and gives us ample room to grow, we save the cost of moving to a new location, and since we’d inherit the existing tenants and the income that comes with them, banks suddenly want to talk! It’s the perfect storm.
After all, wouldn’t it be like the Lord to provide the entire shopping center for us after our lease fell through elsewhere years ago, and He led us to Riverside Center? We’ve been through the flood there and we’ve grown from 2,400 sq ft to 12,000 sq ft.
We have lots of long-term plans for Riverside Center, but that’s a different blog post (or a few). For now, our first priority is to get our church worshiping together under one roof again. We’re so thankful for the double venues that have worked so well, but they’ve stretched us thin. We want to be back under one roof in Riverside Center before we expand into multiple campuses and plant churches in the future.
We’ve talked with the city and they’ve given us the green light for expansion and renovation. Since we’re in the heart of downtown and the business district, there’s not a better place in town to build! We have plans to go up and out with our current building, allowing us to grow and expand right where we are.
Throughout this process our prayer has been simple:
Lord, if this is where you want us, open doors and provide. If not, shut it down.
We’re not afraid to pray for God to shut it down because our history has taught us some important lessons. When God shuts a door or allows a seemingly tragic situation to happen (like a flood), He uses that to provide and guide us even further!
If this were my church, I’d be stressed. Since it’s His church, I don’t have to be!
Where you come in…
We put in an offer, they countered, and we accepted. We’ve had no problems with the bank, the loan or anything until this week. We just found out that the underwriter isn’t comfortable with the loan terms and wants to significantly raise the down payment. Before, we were looking at around $50,000 for closing and down payment (extremely little!), but now we’re looking at close to triple that amount.
That doesn’t bother me in the least. As I taught on Sunday, God often draws our attention to our limited resources so that He gets all the credit for His abundant provision.
If this isn’t where God wants us, we don’t want to be here either.
If it is, I am confident that God will provide through miraculous provision and the generosity of His people. If you’d like to give, you can do so online here.
Either way, please pray with us. Pray for direction, provision, and for God to come through in such a way that only He can get the credit. We want to keep the ministry on a miracle basis.