I’m sure that no one has been wondering where we’ve been. But for the faithful few followers, who may have just begun to think that we have been more quiet than usual, and even for those who haven’t wondered, we wanted to share about the latest excitement in the Dearth home(s).
Some of you may have seen on Facebook or Instagram that we’ve moved from south side of Lusaka (Makeni township, on the way to Livingstone) to the east side (Chalala township, near Woodlands Stadium, for those of you that are familiar with Lusaka).
We really didn’t want to move from our old place and have been pretty happy there for the last (almost) three years. But about a month ago we found out that the housing complex we lived in had been sold to a new owner. So, we waited to see if our monthly rent would drastically go up, which, unfortunately, is a pretty common tale here. A new owner comes in, and the rent goes up (and not just by 5% or even 10%, but by 30% or 50%).
After a bit of misunderstanding and confusion, we were told that our rent would be going up by 50%, effective immediately! This was 2 1/2 weeks ago. Needless to say, we got started – immediately – looking into other houses for rent around town.
Anyone who has done anything relating to real estate knows that realty = drama. And we had our fair share of drama with needing to find a reasonably priced house within 1 week and, of course, dealing with all the usual drama with looking for houses. And doing it with a high-energy, 16-month old boy made the whole process quite…dramatic.
Last Monday, we found ourselves taking measurements at the house we thought would be ours. But it needed lots of repairs and was currently getting a total kitchen makeover. It was in a great location (the US Embassy was practically in the backyard) but was a serious work in progress. Feeling like it was not the greatest long-term solution, but not wanting to be greedy, we were planning to sign the papers.
As we stood on the front porch, our realtor called and said, “I have one more house available – the house in Chalala.” I knew 2 things about that house. 1) From the specs and pictures, it looked like our Zambian dream house. 2) It was out of our price range. So, I said, “Isn’t that house outside of our price range?” When she responded with, “I know for sure that they will come down to what you can afford,” we said, “Let’s take a look!”
And here we are, one week down of living in our “Zambian dream house.” Of course, houses don’t satisfy our deepest needs, but God has blessed us in so many sweet ways through the gift of this house that is becoming home. We praise God for His incredible care and love for us, demonstrated in tiny little things – like there being an herb garden already growing and a gorgeous flowering hibiscus bush right outside our front window that I have been wanting. I was sad to leave behind our avocado tree at our old house, but here we have mango, lemon, and avocado trees!
In a very small way, this new house has been a physical reminder to me of God’s unbelievable love toward us in the gift of His Son. We have done nothing to deserve either of these good gifts. And yet God, in His mercy and grace, has lavished on us grace upon grace. Because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, we have an eternal home, where we get to experience fullness of life and pleasures forevermore with God. And we pray that, for as long as we get to live at Plot 30964 in Chalala, this place will be a place of rest and refreshment as we live, serve, and host in Zambia.