We are thankful to report good news regarding the property we are trying to purchase for our largest mission here. We voted to accept the bid that was returned to us at the 6.3 million peso asking price (about 350,000 dollars). We received ‘approval’ from the Federal Government to proceed with the purchase. This permission is necessary because of many groups who use churches to launder drug money here (including the Catholics). We are presently awaiting a green light from the property lawyer before proceeding with the complicated process (a process even more complicated for churches).
Our initial offer was for 5.8 million pesos. We have four and half million in the bank and anonymous commitments from our people to raise the rest in a short time period. We trust the Lord that this can be done without incurring any debt. Many are giving sacrificially and facing a great test of faith in order to have a part in this. In the future this will also enable them to pay a full-time pastor and begin to put their resources into indigenous mission work.
There are still details to be worked out before we sign a final contract, including an exemption that we are hoping to get that will keep us from paying a 16 % VAT tax on the operation. The permission from the Government states clearly that the property will not be used for commercial purposes, but the bureaucrats may try to force us to pay anyway. Please continue to pray with us for these issues to be worked out.
This is a four story building with two large halls that will seat 200-250 each. It is already zoned to be used as a church and has no issues with parking, access, etc. We will need to do a fair amount of fix up on the inside, but that should not be too expensive. It is strategically located in the city and close to the subway and other public transportation. The property seems to be ideal for the needs of the work and can be put to multiple uses.
You will see on our financial report that I have combined the Central American travel fund with some extra offerings that we intended to use on a vehicle, converting these funds into a Building Fund. I am calculating that the mission may end up about 25,000 dollars short of the 350,000 they need to pay cash for the building and we intend to help them via this fund. I am usually against putting U.S. dollars into buildings or land, but this case is different. They have been saving for a long time. Our supporting churches in the States will now have some ‘fruit’ in the building also laid up to their account. (Phil.4:17)
We want to help them as much as we can without being counterproductive. The Lord has given us more than we need and I believe that it should be put to use at this time. We know there will be closing fees, taxes, lawyers, etc. to be paid at the signing (this could easily run to another 25,000). The mission does not know that I am planning to help, and they are earnestly trying to come up with as much as they possibly can. We will wait and see how everything plays out in God’s providence.
I am still preaching on the Mystery of Children and have started a new series on ‘how to live by God’s promises’. Mark is preaching an evangelistic series on the Beatitudes.
I continue with my busy travel schedule and monthly Institute responsibilities.
Missionary Tom Montgomery and Family