One Snowy May Night…

If you haven’t read it yet… read {God, I want a little white church} before continuing… (Yay me I am writing a series!)

Dead end after dead end…

I started the research immediately. And I was shocked to find NOTHING online about this place.  There are so many history lovers in the Ozarks; I couldn’t believe that no one knew a thing about this building. Pastors around town knew nothing.  Pastors in the region offered no help.  But even though the people I was contacting knew nothing, God seemed to be leading me by His Spirit to keep searching.

My first search led me to discover that this property is surrounded by property owned by the City of Springfield.  Online records indicated that the building was nearly 100 years old. But that was it. Only the address of the property was listed. No forwarding address. And no mailbox. This place had been abandoned for YEARS.

A trip to the library produced more questions.  The local history librarian seemed to be just as curious about the lack of information as I was.  The church does not appear in ANY of the church history books for Greene County.  I left the library confused, but determined.   And I prayed.  A few hours later the librarian called me.  Miraculously (his own word), someone came into the library just moments after I left that knew the original name of the old church “Mount Pleasant Church”.  The librarian then found a one-year-old blog post by a local explorer complete with a picture and questions similar to my own about the building.  So I looked up the blogger on social media, but I didn’t contact him, I just prayed for him.  I didn’t know what to ask, but I knew God did…. So I waited.

Day after day I went back to the property and prayed that the Lord would help me learn more.  I just HAD to know if I was supposed to pursue this place or not.  Inside I was questioning my ability.  Even if we did find the owners, how in the world would we be able to afford to buy this place?  I knew the property’s value, not including the dilapidated building, was worth more than what I had in the bank.  And yet, God kept pushing me to pursue.  So I did, in prayer.

Jason thought I was a little bit obsessed.  I was questioning our ability to purchase the property and Jason KNEW our ability – I was crazy to think we could afford to buy a church on a half-acre lot.  We were not able.  It was impossible.  But I couldn’t give up.  I knew what God spoke to me when I passed that place and I couldn’t deny it.  I just needed Jason to feel the same confidence I had and I knew that only God could speak that to him.  So I prayed.

On May 3rd, 2013, Springfield had a weird snow storm.

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It was unlike anything we had ever experienced in the Midwest in May.  It was the night of Audrey’s Kindergarten program so we were all out celebrating her school year.  After the program was over we asked Audrey where she wanted to go to eat.  Her normal response did not come out, instead she picked a pizza place across town.  So we drove through the huge snow flakes to the restaurant, I will never forget it.  Half-way there Jason grumbled that we should just get home, it was late.  But we went anyway.  The kids tromped through the snow, flung open the door to Garbo’s Pizza and ran upstairs. After holding the door open for my littlest one, I looked up and could not believe my eyes.  It was the blogger I had been praying for all week.  I knew it was him. I recognized him from his social media profile pictures.

We went upstairs and I told Jason that I knew that I knew that it was a sign!  Jason, dumbfounded, could not deny that it was weird.  Curiosity got the best of him and he walked downstairs and introduced himself to this unsuspecting Garbo’s patron and explained the strange events.  That moment was just for Jason.  Our blogger friend did not know any more than we did about the church building but God spoke confirmation to Jason through that experience and he was on-board with whatever God wanted after that.

Later we met our new friend for dinner and, you might have guessed it, learned his story. He told us all about how God was working in his life. Where he had come from. What he felt he was called to. He was curious about the little church because it reminded him of one he knew well where he grew up. It was an awesome God-ordained conversation. One that has taught me the value of asking for the story any time I meet someone new. And in that moment, God used that little church to bring people together to share their testimonies. Before we had even stepped foot it in.

After that I KNEW that I had to go to Greene County to research.  My first move was to email the assessor’s office. . .

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