Landowners!

After several years of prayer, searching, and planning The Field’s Edge is proud to announce the acquisition of just over 22 acres of land in southwest Midland. From the beginning we knew that this would be one of the most critical and important steps for us. We also knew that finding land that met our very specific criteria would be a challenge especially in a competitive and fast paced real estate market. 

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I want to tell you a funny story about my optimism. When we first came back from Community First Village in April of 2017, Briana, Truma, and I moved our RV out to Greenwood to rent a space on lovely piece of property. It was such an answer to prayer for us because I could not find a space in an RV park that I felt good about my family living in. We were nearing the end of our time at Community First Village and we had nowhere to live, no income, and a baby on the way. It was such a relief to find a place to call home, if only for a bit. I called the power company to get our meter turned on and when I had to choose a plan, I chose to go month-to-month instead of a longer contract. I was certain that even the 3-month plan would be too long and we would have to pay penalties when we moved to The Field’s Edge property before the contract ended. I thought at least we would be able to move out to the land before Titus was born in September, but those months went by really fast. Early on we had a very willing and excited landowner who did everything he could to donate some land to us. There were many ups and downs, twists and turns, in that time. The first few tracts on his ranch that we discussed didn’t work because of oilfield activity. We had a great experience working with our corporate neighbors who helped us as much as they possibly could, but it took a while and eventually presented us with our next challenge. The land we found that was mutually beneficial to us and the oil company ended up being in the Midland Spaceport Overlay Zone which has building restrictions that we weren’t able to work through. 

 So, after thinking we were almost there, it all fell apart and we were back to square one. I went back to the maps I had made and started driving around Midland again praying that we would find the right piece of land. At the time we considered a different approach which was to do a small model community somewhere visible in town with a community garden. This would enable the public to better understand our vision and allow us to start up some programs while we waited for the right piece of property for our village. We thought the garden was going to take off quickly, but alas our plan fell through after a few months when we found out that the property we hoped to use was historic and we wouldn’t be allowed.

Our sweet friend Lois who went to be with Jesus in 2018

Our sweet friend Lois who went to be with Jesus in 2018

Each one of these disappointments got to me. I sometimes wondered if there was any hope of fulfilling our mission. Early on, I thought that since we were taking these steps of faith that God would provide quickly. Over a year and a half since we started we still didn’t have land and we attended two funerals of people that we had hoped to bring home.  I had doubts at that point and I was discouraged. I knew this was a big undertaking and that there was a chance we wouldn’t succeed, but this quote has driven me to give it all I have on the days when I felt like giving up. 

The Lord measures the faithfulness of our labor, not our success
— John Piper

There were days when I thought it would be a lot easier just to go back to my old career, but I knew that the Lord was worthy of our faithfulness. Despite all of the hurdles, we knew that God hadn’t brought us all that way for nothing. We felt a strong sense that we were intended to continue the pursuit.

At this point we started to really get creative, but before we made any more moves we shared our vision with another landowner near our original area. He offered to donate a 20+ acre tract out of the way of drilling and outside of the Spaceport! Even better the tract is inside of the city limits and has access to utilities, roads, and perhaps even a bus route. God in His sovereignty knew that everything would go this way. He knew that this piece of land would be best for us, and He knew that the lessons I learned in the hard times would ultimately be for my good. 

Two years after we started this journey, the Lord provided our land and all the other doors are opening up. We have launched a tiny home design competition with the American Institute of Architecture West Texas Chapter. Architects from all over west Texas will submit designs that will go to a jury for selection to be built at our village! The progress of our capital campaign is going well and we are so appreciative of the support we have received from you. 

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In other great news Redeemer Midland South Campus launched last week and we are so excited to see Jesus lifted up in South Midland. I want to remind you that there are still opportunities to serve the homeless with Breaking Bread on their breakfast truck, and most recently they launched a program to deliver food to shut-ins in the evening. Click the links to sign up to volunteer. Also go to Facebook and Instragram and follow Finding Home in Boomtown, the feature length film about our family and the last few years of this journey to cultivate home for the homeless. The film will premier this year and you don’t want to miss it!

Friends we can’t thank you enough for your prayers and support over the years. We have felt so loved and encouraged by all of you. Looks like 2019 is going to be a big year! 

Sincerely,
John-Mark