Last night, we received a very open and heart-moving letter from Matthias and Sieglinde. I’ve translated it from German and want to share it with you in its entirety:
Today, one of the students living on the 3rd floor had her backpack stolen out of her room, together with her purse and cell phone.
The new door to the student rooms has not had a lock installed because the work has stopped in “Haus Nazareth” – there is simply no money to pay for the outstanding bills.
Please uphold us in prayer!
In the past few days, we’ve often had to think of Nehemiah’s situation before he was able to help rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
In Nehemiah 1:2-4 he reports: “One of my brothers came from Judah… and they said to me: ‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.’ When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
We feel the same way today about “Haus Nazareth”… the House of the Lord. We’ve not had a fire, but the situation is not good.
Since February over 20 people are working here in the house: the clinic, the property management office and the social services office are open. The rooms are attractive and bright… but people are really suffering because of the constant noise and dirt.
Throughout the building, there’s been loud hammering, drilling, scraping, laying concrete… and unimaginable dirt, dust and the smell of plaster penetrate every crack.
Even when going to the washing machine in the cellar, those living in the house have to navigate their way around old pipes and piles of old bricks and junk. Everyone is just worn out from the general stress.
Nehemiah’s reaction to the news about Jerusalem was to pray: “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants.”
During the past weeks, we’ve worked and prayed, believed, hoped and shared until we’ve been ready to drop. Honestly, we’re exhausted and kind of discouraged.
On top of all this, the questions keep coming from outsiders: “What’s actually going on here? Why all this struggle?” Most folk mean well with their questions and are just curious, but there’s often an undertone of doubt and skepticism, too.
It really weighs on our hearts that the spiritual commitment “Haus Nazareth” represents [in this unchurched city] not bring discredit to the Lord in the eyes of those people around us! Remodeling is still moving forward in a few places in the building, but it is at a standstill everywhere else.
On top of all this, there is pressure from the bank. They want to have things finished so that the business plan we submitted for the loans is completely up and running.
There are open bills to be paid of 150,000 €uros [$233,000]. Since last year, [German friends committed to the project] have donated or given interest-free loans of over 500,000 €uros for the remodeling. These are sums that can take one’s breath away, but they also show the greatness and care of our Heavenly Father!
What are the most pressing needs?
- It is urgent that the newly remodeled basement rooms for the social services office be completed…
- so that the garden house (Kindergarten building) can be used by the Church of the Nazarene that is renting it
- that a new basement door can be finished for guests, visitors and patients who need wheelchair access to the building
- the completion of the two staff apartments by the end of the year, so that our missionary work can go on and increase to full capacity
We aren’t writing this for pity; we simply are asking God for fellow believers who will partner with us and help carry out the vision God has given for “Haus Nazareth”.
We’re meeting together for prayer on May 20th and want to invite you to join us!
Thank you for your concern and interest in reading this.
Matthias and Sieglinde Ploner