Back in the year 2000, before we had even finished the first renovation of Malenovice, our JV training center in the Czech Republic, an architect friend came to visit from the States and drew up a long range plan for what could be built over time to increase our capacity.
After the renovated hotel opened in 2001, we began to pray, plan and move in the direction of expansion as Dave could see that the growing ministry would need additional facilities.
We finished the cabins in 2011, completed the lodge in 2012, and then opened Malenka, the beautiful eating and lodging area, in 2014.
All the while, we knew that one day we would need to expand our meeting area, since the largest room would hold just 160. With our staff increasing each year, the space to meet grew tighter and tighter.
It took several years of working to design just the right building for the piece of land we had available, and within the parameters of the protected area we're in. It also took years to raise the funds for it (we're currently at 87%). The architectural plans for an event center that would hold 500 were submitted and approved by the local planning office in May, 2016. But they were immediately challenged by neighbors to the property.
Over the past 2 1/2 years since then, we have been working to answer their challenges, submitting revised paperwork over and over to request the permit to build. Yet each time it's been challenged, which takes it back to the beginning of the process.
Our project manager, Petr, has worked tirelessly, going to great lengths to build relationships with these people, and work out solutions to their complaints. He submitted what we hoped were the last documents at the beginning of this month, December. We all prayed and prayed that God would open the way for us to finally move forward with building the event center.
But we were informed today that two more challenges were submitted, which halted the process again.
Now Petr will again do all within his power and abilities to answer their concerns. The woman at the planning office in town that he's been working with (and who wants to be able to issue the permit) says she will issue her ruling on their complaints by December 27th. They will then have another month to counter with their new complaints.
So we are back to persevering in prayer, asking God to move mountains on our behalf.
It's so timely that Dave just finished the last of eight studies in a series for new believers on ... perseverance!
Here is his review of the study:
1. Why doesn’t God remove your problems?
God is training you
God is helping you
God is deepening your relationship with Jesus
2. How does God want you to respond to your problems?
With joy – because you know you will grow
With endurance – because you will only change if you keep going
With dependence on God – because you know you will need help
3. How does persevering change you?
Perseverance brings you reward
Perseverance makes you strong
Perseverance refines you
So we will persevere in faith and prayer, trusting that our big, mighty and able God is working on our behalf to do what is right, best and good for us!