March 7, 2021
Origins of the Beginning
Give To The Building Fund Here
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV)
If you don’t know it yet, you will: God has a time for all things, and usually it is a mystery. But before He does anything He stirs the hearts of His people. He gives visions and dreams. He puts something on a person’s heart. He speaks to them from His Word. As they take steps of faith, God blesses and confirms. But years may go by. The children of Israel were four hundred years in Egypt, but when the time came for them to leave, then they had to move quickly. It was the Lord’s time, and they couldn’t delay.
I believe our Building Project has been much the same way. It began as a gift of faith. The year was 2002. We had been meeting in the Hillcrest Shopping Center for about four years. But we knew this would not be our permanent location. We began praying that God would lead us to property that we could purchase to build. At first, we looked in Southeast Boise. But we could find nothing that we could afford. So we turned our attention to Southwest Boise and South Meridian. Then a couple in our church told us about 15 acres of farmland that was for sale on Lake Hazel Road. At the time, this seemed remote. There was little development around it. But it was affordable.
We informed our church of the opportunity, and about $125,000 was donated in one week! This was over a third of the cost of the land. We took this as a sign from the Lord to purchase the land in February of 2003.
Five years later we hit the Great Recession. Our offerings decreased by about thirty percent. But somehow we always managed to make our property payment. God was sustaining us.
We made two different attempts to develop building plans, but each time God closed the door. The biggest problem was that we could not get sewer and water to the property, and we could not afford to put in our own public well and septic system.
Then I heard another Calvary Chapel pastor talk about a piece of property they owned and their struggles to develop it. One day the Lord said to him, “Do you want this to be an Ishmael or an Isaac?” That hit me right in the chest. I told the Lord, “I don’t want our building project to be an Ishmael. I want it to be an Isaac. Help me wait upon you.”
While we waited, we thought of two things we could do. We could pray, and we could pay off the land. We formed a Property Prayer Team and began monthly prayer meetings. Then we told the church of our goal to pay off the land. At the time we still owed $115,000 on the note. Within a year we paid it off with no pledges or pressure tactics. People just freely gave as the Lord put it on their hearts. What a wonderful celebratory Sunday we had when we shouted, “We’re debt free!”
Cindy and I had come to know a Christian property developer who had retired, but who was a wealth of knowledge. As we shared our plans with him over lunch, he said, “Why do you need so much land? Keep what you need and sell the rest.” We brought the idea to our Board of Elders who thought this made good sense. We began praying that God would help us find a developer who would work with us. In the meantime, we met with a civil engineer and real estate experts to sketch out a potential subdivision of homes. We figured that if we could make it work, then we would have more control over what was built next to us. We didn’t realize it at the time, but by doing the preliminary work ourselves, we would be able to sell the land for about twice as much as it was worth without the subdivision plans.
In the meantime, we found an excellent design/build team of an architect and builder for the church. Then we found a civil engineer who helped us through the entire preliminary subdivision process with the City of Meridian. We were able to cash flow all these subdivision expenses ourselves. Finally, we were told about Zach Evans, a Christian developer with a great reputation for building the kind of homes we were looking at building. We contacted him about our project, and within a few days, he replied, saying that he was interested in our project. When we met with him, he said this was exactly the kind and number of homes he likes to build. God was answering prayer!
In August, the Meridian City Counsel approved the subdivision with the church as a seven-acre parcel. Then in December we received approval for the church Conditional Use Permit. All systems go!
Since then, the Lord has provided us with skilled men in our church who have agreed to form our Building Team. They are responsible for determining all our facility needs and communicating with the architect and builder. They are also responsible for gathering the funds that will be required from our church and possibly a lender.
We are still in the process of working out the timeline with Zach Evans and our architect. And we are also working out the estimated costs of the project. Soon we will be able to share these with the church and communicate our specific needs. In the meantime, we are moving forward with our construction drawings, which will likely begin within the next few weeks. God has been providing each step of the way.
We are still waiting on the Lord. We want this to be an Isaac and not an Ishmael! But we are faithfully doing our part and fully expect God to go before us. We believe that where God guides, God provides. But He also desires that we partner with Him to invest in His kingdom. Regardless of how long it takes, we have no doubt that it is the Lord’s time to move!
We would ask one thing: when you give thanks for your meals, ask God to bless Calvary Chapel Treasure Valley! And if you feel led to invest in this project, you can do so below the video.