When we decided to leave our secular jobs to help give birth to a church in Ocala, Florida, we knew things would be different. We did not know to what extreme things would change. We had two daughters and it was going to severely impact them as well. We rented a small, second floor apartment because the first impact was financial. The apartment was a downgrade from our beautiful ranch home with the swimming pool amenity.
One of the people attracted to our church was John, a football coach of a local High School. John introduced us to Hubert. Hubert built homes. How in the world could we afford that? I am not sure how it all happened but we had a beautiful home built near the Ocala National Forest. We had never owned a home with cathedral ceilings before. We were both thankful and happy with our new home.
As time passed others came to the church and we had some very close friends and we loved them. After our home was built and we were living in it. Mike and Patsy began attending. They were really special people, Mike a builder and Patsy worked in an office downtown.
It was Christmas time. The hours and demands of ministry are great, especially this time of year. We often worked late and it was almost dark when we arrived home. One night, we were really tired from a full day of ministry. This day however would have a very happy ending.
I drove into our driveway and slammed on the brakes. “Is this our house,” I asked? It was our land but the house looked completely different. There was a big red bow hanging on the outside of our home.
After a closer look, I could see that someone had built a huge screened in front porch. There was a card and it read, Merry Christmas, from The Clarks. Happiness filled my heart. The screened in porch is the best gift anyone could have given to me. It became my favorite room in the house. I did almost all of my studying, writing, and preparation on this porch after Mike had screened it in.
This over-the-top extravagant gift from Mike and Patsy had me feeling highly blessed and favored. I will never forget it all the days of my life and I will be forever grateful. I not only loved who the Clarks were but I loved what they did.
I have met many people that I love and appreciate. Some stand out as influencing my life more than others. Everyone mentioned in this blog were exceptional people and they became like family. John, his wife Joy, Hubert, and Mike and Patsy are life-long friends. We were many but we became one. Awesome are the people of God as they become one.