The city has now closed the second round of bidding. During the second round the minimum bid was set at $1.7 million. That was still too much for us and so we decided to wait and see. (For more on Narnia see this series of posts.)
You might think people would be nervous. After all, if someone had made an offer during the second round then the campus would likely have been sold to them. That means Narnia would then have to move, probably even in the midst of a school year.
Can you imagine moving a school in the middle of a school year?
A God Sized Project
Having to move would be bad enough. But where would we go? From the beginning the administration has kept its eyes open for potential properties. Over the past year they were actively pursuing other options but everything else fell through. Then we found out about the city’s decision to sell this property. Could this be God’s timing?
The whole thing is so big and beyond us that it should seem scary. But Slavo, Maťa, and others in the administration seem to have peace about the situation. I guess no matter what, the size of the project is beyond our control. God is going to have to intervene. In that kind of situation we look to the past seven years and have confidence when we see specific ways that God has been with the school and made this ministry possible. Narnia, after all, is bearing fruit for his kingdom.
It’s nice to know that the parents, even those who are not believers, can also see God’s had at work. At a recent parent-administration meeting one of parents said, “You trust God, we trust you, it will all be OK.”
In a very real way, it seems there is more than just the future of the school riding on what happens next. One great thing is that as we look to how the school was begun we can see that God has been there all along. This isn’t our ministry, this is his ministry.
The Next Step
In the end, no one was interested in the property during the second round–even at the reduced price. That means we go to the next step.
At this point we’re not sure what the next step would be. It could be another round of bidding with a lower minimum bid. But at this point it could mean that the city would enter into direct negotiations with any interested parties. Naturally, we are interested and our goal is to purchase the property for around $1 million or less.
The Plot Thickens
Recently, however, we found out we are not the only ones interested in purchasing the campus. The other interested party, we’ve heard, has political connections and lots of finances. When one parent heard of this he said that without a bribe “it’s not going to happen.” But Narnia has been firm about being completely ethical throughout the process. Once again, it only confirms that the outcome is beyond our control.
This is a God-sized project.
Specific Ways to Pray
First of all, please pray that Narnia will continue to bear fruit as an outreach of our local church and that any growth contributes to the health of the congregation. Second, that we would be able to purchase the property at a reasonable price. Third, pray for a transparent and just process–that during the whole process we would maintain a good reputation with the city and with the community. Finally, please pray for fundraising. Our church of 70 members can’t come up with all the money needed for the property and we’re trusting that funds will come in when needed.
We will be praying about this.