A little over six weeks ago, we celebrated our one-year anniversary of the launch of the “Our Turn” campaign. That weekend, we came together and had a time of prayer devoted to asking God for the necessary provisions in the days, weeks, and months ahead as we planned to break ground. In the weeks following this event, we have encountered a significant hurdle that has delayed our plans to break ground that I want you to be aware of as we process how to move forward.
As we approached the time to close on the loan with our bank, the appraisal on the project (including our current building and land) came back significantly lower than anyone, the bank included, expected. The portion of the appraisal that was most surprising was the assessment of our existing facility, not the new construction. For a little perspective, our current facility at our Sunwest Campus was appraised at $3.5 million in 2006; the appraisal a few weeks ago came back valuing the current structure at $2.6 million. With the way that property prices have increased over the last decade in Waco, particularly in the Woodway/McGregor area, this was obviously not something that anyone expected.
To put it plainly, this appraisal has made closing with the bank impossible until we get more cash and we are able to put more money down up front. After receiving this news, we have been working through what this means for the project and how to move forward. It’s clear that we still have the ability to make the project happen, but it is going to take a little longer than we expected.
As we look at how our finances have been trending, things are going incredibly well. I am very encouraged by where things stand and how sacrificial so many people have been in their giving. I have attached a detailed breakdown of how the first year of the “Our Turn” campaign is trending so far in a separate sheet for you to review.
While our financial situation is looking incredibly solid right now, we also have some clear challenges that are right in front of us in order to get this project to the construction phase and continue to move forward. The challenge we are facing is that waiting much longer to close with our bank would mean running the risk of increasing the cost of the project and significantly delaying the timeline for construction. Just so I am clear: we don’t necessarily need more money than you pledged; we need as much money as you can feasibly provide as soon as you can possibly provide it.
I know that mass communication on a project of this size and scope can create some fears and doubts that are unnecessary, so I want to close by reminding us of an important story in Scripture that can help frame the task at hand in a helpful way. In Numbers 13-14, Moses sent representatives from each of the 12 tribes of Israel to scope out the Promised Land. When they returned, Joshua and Caleb saw a clear pathway God was making for them to inherit what He had already promised. The problem was that the other spies evoked fear, doubt, and panic from the people of God and made them question God’s promise to them. In Numbers 14:11, God asked Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? Will they never believe me, even after all the miraculous signs I have done among them?” The question wasn’t if the feat was possible. God had already called and equipped them to accomplish the task at hand. The problem was their lack of faith. The reason God was frustrated with them for their lack of faith was because He had already proven Himself to be faithful every step of the way.
We are more than able to accomplish the task God has set before us. Don’t be afraid. Don’t get frustrated or jaded. Don’t dream about going back to a place that we’ve already left and wasn’t where we were supposed to be anyway. I am asking for you to operate out of joy and with an “abundance mentality,” rather than acting out of fear and from a “scarcity mentality.” Press forward, simply do what you can, and be someone with a “whatever it takes” mentality. You won’t regret it.
If you missed the update on Sunday, check out the video below.