Friday, January 13, 2012

Hidden Riches Yield A New Home

(The median of Edmondson Avenue in Ten Hills/Westgate.  Photo from the Westgate Community Association.)

It was 1983, and Nancy and Tony Kurek and Phyllis and Sam Deramo had moved from the east side of town to the Catonsville area where members of the Lamb of God Community (of which we were a part) had established a cluster of homes and a school that Mary, Thom, and Phil were attending. We too wanted to move there. One of our reasons for wanting to move was so we wouldn't have to drive across town for school or the prayer meetings we attended once a week. Yet when Larry prayed prior to June of 1983, he kept getting a "no" in his spirit. Eventually, he felt like he had an okay from the Lord to call my sister-in-law and real estate agent Susan Ringsdorf to start the wheels rolling to put the house on the market.

It took a while before we got a contract on the house. We had to be out of the house in two months. We looked and looked for housing, but found nothing we could afford.  Becoming discouraged, I went to prayer and opened my Bible. It opened to Isaiah 45. I saw that a while back I had highlighted verse 3. The verse read, "I will give you treasures out of darkness and riches that have been hidden away."  I wanted to believe that, but was afraid to. I sat reading that scripture again and again, but my faith was weak.

Larry, Susan, and I were again looking in the Catonsville area. It was a holiday, and after looking at two homes that did not fit our needs, we went to Phyllis and Sam's home to brainstorm, for we had to be out of our house on Dudley Avenue in two weeks.  My brother Gene (Susan's husband) had come too. As we gathered around the table, Phyllis said she knew of a house on Stamford Road that was up on the market as an owner's sale. Susan urged us to look at it even though the owner wanted $68,000 for it. I didn't want to look at the house because I knew there was no way we could afford it.  My reasoning: Why look at something you can't afford that you may fall in love with, and then housing you could afford would only seem like second best?  All the family said, "Go look at it."

I walked through the house only half looking, since when I stepped into the living room it seemed more than what I had ever dreamed to have. Larry felt this was the house God wanted us to have.  How? How could we do this?  We knew how much we had for a down payment, and we would have a mortgage that we couldn't handle.

Back at Phyllis and Sam's, Susan said she thought we could get the owner to accept $62,000. We shared with everyone there what our finances were, and even getting the owner to accept $62,000, we couldn't do it. Then Gene told us that he, as executor of our Mom and Dad's will, knew there was money set aside for us for our inheritance. I had no knowledge of this, and Gene said he was going to ask them if we could have $11,000 -- our share of the inheritance -- now to use as the added down payment which would make the mortgage payments affordable. Gene spoke to Mom and Dad, and they were happy to giveus the money.  It was then I remembered the scripture verse from Isaiah 45:3, "I will give you treasures out of darkness and riches that have been hidden away."

We moved into 613 Stamford Rd. on April 11, 1984, our 25th wedding anniversary. God was so good to us, and when I moved in, I was overwhelmed by His love for us and for the love and support we had from family. We were able through God's goodness to pay the $11,000 back before my Dad went into a retirement home, and pay off the house before Larry retired.  We would stay there for more than 26 years.

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