Greetings, friends. I’m writing this to you, laptop perched on my bulging bump. Here sits 21-weeks’ worth of evidence that the future for Team Watts is light years beyond our wildest dreams. Never did I picture our story unfolding this way when we packed up our life in St Andrews and returned to Canada last July.
Let’s cut to the chase
We need your help. What you are about to read is a call to arms.
As you might well imagine, it is considerably humbling to take to the internet in this way. Five years ago, the idea of vulnerably broadcasting a need across cyberspace would have made me cringe. Today, only a sliver of me feels uneasy about what I’m about to ask of you.
The rest of me is excited to enroll you in participating in our adventure. I’m not as afraid to ask for help as I once was. Asking is a powerful catalyst; it is the spark that sets the generosity economy on fire. And when we each take turns first asking boldly and then responding abundantly, miracles become the norm and heaven comes to earth. That’s the earth I want to live in.
We occupy a world that often views asking for help as a sign of weakness, irresponsibility or incompetence. I used to subscribe to that point of view. The fact that I can now write sincerely about receiving gifts without shame is all God’s gracious handiwork. He knew my pride. He’s been chipping away at it consistently over the last five years. He knew that eventually the day would come when our family would need to humbly and publicly seek help from our community. He chose to break me in gently so as to not destroy my ego in one blow when the day arrived.
Friends, the day has come. We are six weeks away from being without a home. I hate to put it in writing but it’s true.
Or at least, it’s mostly true. For a long while there has been a possibility for us to live in Delta, BC, hence waiting this long to declare our need. The possibility hinges on whether or not God provides a house for some dear friends who are looking to buy in Abbottsford. BC’s real estate market is cruel and the clock is ticking. “We’ll deal with it later if we need to,” we said. Now it’s later.
Now we are past the halfway point in Knoxville. Soon we’ll be parting with Tennessee’s golden sun and fried delicacies and heading off for—wait for it—Australia’s golden sun and fried delicacies.
We’re giddy as can be to spend three weeks down under with family. Seeing Steve’s parents, Rikk and Katie, relocate to Australia in January was bittersweet. We are desperate to hug them, bathe in the heat of late summer, and eat potato cakes and fried dim sims on the beach.
But seeing family in a matter of weeks means we’re that much closer to returning to BC and that has us mildly on edge. We need to locate a home and fast. Here’s where we need your support.
Please pray with us
We don’t say that to swaddle our fundamental needs in cotton-candy spirituality. Prayer is real and prayer is powerful—I know that not everyone reading this agrees with me but I dare you to suspend disbelief.
We have seen God provide in extraordinary ways through His people since leaving our predictable routine in Scotland. That bit Jesus says about seeking His kingdom before fretting about the details? He wasn’t kidding. I’ll show you my Manna List next time we hang out. (And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, all the more reason to get together.)
Please spread the word
Second to asking for prayer, we’d appreciate your help in contacting friends and family as we seek a solution. It’s time to get all Kevin Bacon up in here and dissolve any degrees of separation between Team Watts and the sweet people who will be our heroes.
Because our circumstances are unique, this is not as straightforward as finding any vacant accommodation. We can’t play house in some hotel’s penthouse suite just for fun.
- We have limited resources and very likely cannot afford to make ends meet in a typical furnished residence. *Elissa curses the absurd Vancouver real estate market*
- We can’t afford to furnish a space nor do we possess much anymore.
Steve’s academic job hunt is currently in full swing so we must remain nimble to relocate at short notice. If God provides a teaching job for the fall semester, we’ll likely be moving in August. (Yes, with a newborn. Again. Because when it rains, it pours.)
For the time being, we cannot sign leases, invest heavily in furniture, or dream about decorating a nursery. It is not wise until we know for certain that we have to stay put in Canada for another year. We won’t know that until closer to the summer. (The suspense is killing us, believe me.)
What we require
Ideally, we are looking to find a solution where we can care for someone’s property at little cost and remain in the Lower Mainland. Size doesn’t matter-trust me, we’ve done it all—but we’ll need at least two bedrooms.
Short-term house sitting and pet-sitting gigs have proven to be terrific wins all around. Pet owners save money, we have a place to call home, Fido gets his bone, and happiness abounds. We’d be delighted to string a couple of gigs together because it creates value on both sides of the equation.
Ideally, however, we’d love to remain in one spot. Thanks to my medical condition and our unexpected little miracle, we must now narrow our sights on Greater Vancouver. We hope to hover in the area until the baby arrives in mid July. If it’s possible to care for a single property for the entire duration, we’d consider ourselves lottery winners. That would be the ultimate miracle.
- We need definite housing from June 2nd until late August—not all in one location, though that would be amazing. Every little bit helps. **UPDATE: We’re covered for April and all of May and August. The only gap to fill is from June 2-July 21!**
- House sitting gigs are ideal
- Bargain-bin furnished accommodations are second best
- We don’t need a big space, just two bedrooms
- We must remain in the Lower Mainland
- We won’t know about upcoming jobs for the fall until late spring/early summer
- The baby is due July 13 (!!!!)
And because I might still have your attention, I’ll kindly ask you to pray for the friends I mentioned earlier who are desperately seeking to buy a home of their own in Abbotsford.
Jesse and his wife Liana are like family to us; we spent four years together on the east coast of Scotland before navigating our way back to Canada’s west coast together. Jesse commutes from Ladner to Columbia Bible College daily. He and Liana are weary of the house hunt and the incessant driving. Thankfully, their charming 1-year-old daughter is an angel, but as you can imagine, they’d like to finally buy a place and put down roots in the community where Jesse has a job. I know they’d appreciate your prayers too.
Let’s end on a high note, shall we? This is not all doom and gloom. Yes, this season is stressful. Yes, we would not have chosen it for ourselves. But God is using it to refine us and strengthen our faith in mighty ways. For that, we are grateful. Truly. Am I ready for it to be over? Yes please. Would I like a gin and tonic? Stop asking—make it a generous double and serve it to me the minute this baby arrives. Moving on.
I received an email from Steve’s dad recently. I initiated contact; my heart was heavy with the news that a second job opportunity was not to be. Rikk, with his typical tenderness, quickly hammered together a thoughtful reply. It immediately called forth tears. I’m sharing it with you because, though our family’s journey is unique, the soul’s journey through life’s spiritual wilderness is universal and I trust this will encourage a few of you as well.
“There is one thing you can bank on, eternally. You and Steve have sought to follow the Lord faithfully. Yes we are human, yes we are dust — but he remembers that (Psalms 103:14) with all that it means. He knows the path that we take; and, ultimately, his reputation is on the line here. He has you in his hands and will prove faithful. Do not fear…. do not let your hearts be troubled. I know you know all this. But sometimes it’s good to be reminded.There will be a day when you will look back in gladness.”
And finally, a reminder from Paul the Apostle.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7
Ready? Set? Kevin Bacon. God speed.