As I sit here and wait for the movers to load up our entire house that we finally finished packing up, and as I think about truly leaving Blacksburg for the last time, I simply wanted to write about some of the joys we had in this house. When we came to the conclusion of wanting to buy our own place, there was one criteria that trumped all the others, space. We were looking for houses that had space we could use for ministry. We wanted space to have a small (large) group and we also wanted extra room so that we could house people that needed a place to stay or were just in a pinch. We knew that if we were going to spend the bulk of our paycheck towards a mortgage we had to approach owning house a different way, we basically were caretakers for a house God owned. I remember the conversations leading up to buying with LaRae, we were fresh off of reading Crazy Love and we wanted to get a place but really wanted to buy not just because we could, but because we wanted to use it for the Kingdom. Because we approached having a house like that it has opened up so many doors of having great relationships with people that we probably would never have met or dealt with. We got to lead, celebrate and pray with over 90+ different students from Virginia Tech, Radford, and NRVCC through our college small group that we had at our house the past five years. We got to be a part of Salvation, life change, spiritual growth and more than a few engagements because we opened our house to be used for ministry.
There are a ton of stories I could share, but this one makes me laugh every-time I think of it. We got our house and moved in and then 2 months into being homeowners, someone asked me if anyone had a place for him and his friend to stay because their girlfriends were coming into town and they needed to be in separate places. So we were like ‘well, we bought our house for this reason’ and we were going out of town so we said stay at our place. They took great care of our house, no problems or issues whatsoever, the funny part was when they left us a card to say thank you and it said ‘Dear Daray & Joe,’ so far off the mark that it we still find it funny. This is just one story of many that have brought us joy in sharing our home with others. We have had roommates (Tucker King and Maggie Duggins), tons of band practices, parents coming in for graduation, numerous small groups and dinners and even a couple families getting ready for a wedding.
We have absolutely loved our house, and loved getting to know people that were just passing through it. We will definitely approach our next home the same way, and we can’t wait to meet new folks and extend the Kingdom by having some chips and salsa and opening the Word.