I ARRIVED in Wellington, New Zealand in August 2017 and booked a temporary accommodation for about a week. While looking for a long-term housing, I discovered how difficult it was to find one, so I extended my temporary accommodation. After a few days, a friend mentioned that one of their flatmates of 6 years had decided to go back to South Korea and the room will be available in 2 weeks! I stayed with them for 3 months while looking for a house to rent before Cherrylene and the kids arrive, and that’s when the struggle really started.
In New Zealand, there is high demand for housing but low supply. In one report, NZ has the highest house-price-to-income ratio in the world. It seemed I had more difficulty getting a house than getting a job. I had to excuse myself from work because most of the house viewings were done during office hours. Often, there were about 30 other people looking into the same place. In one of those viewings, an applicant signed a cheque to show that they can pay and deter other possible renters. I also knew people who bid the weekly rent “under the table”. The competition was stiff! Although some people told me to play dirty as well, I held on to my convictions and trust in God alone. My applications were rejected, mostly because I didn’t have a tenancy history and that we have small kids that owners feared would damage the property.
A few weeks before Cherrylene and the kids were about to arrive, I was getting really anxious. After dozens of rejections and at the verge of losing hope, an office colleague approached me. Her family just bought a house to be rented out, had been renovating it since August and expected to be done by the 6th of December, exactly the day my family would be arriving! Furthermore, another colleague offered all their household items on the 5th of December because they were emigrating to New York on the 6th. I was reminded of God’s promise to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:10 “The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce”. My wife and I were so amazed at these miracles and how God fulfilled it before our eyes with precision!
However, we were thrown a curveball. A few days before Cherrylene and the kids arrived, my officemate told me that they had underestimated the renovations and will take another two weeks to complete. I told this sad news to my wife. Then I got a call from my cousin who did not know our predicament. She offered their house as they will be leaving on the 6th of December to attend a wedding and will be away for 2 weeks! Wow!
This story is only made possible by someone sovereign who knows all things – God! I could honestly go on and on as to how God has revealed Himself in many more circumstances especially during our initial transition to this foreign land. Simply put He has fulfilled all the promises He said in Deuteronomy 6:10-11. Yet one of the greatest miracles He fulfilled is how He changed our hearts. When we arrived in New Zealand, the only commitment we decided on was to be a regular church-goer. But because of the many miracles God has showered on our family, we cannot help but respond. When our Pastor asked us to disciple the young men and women in our church, we said yes, mainly because of the compelling grace of our Lord. Despite of who we are and our reluctance to serve Him, He loves us nonetheless to be involved in the details and concerns of our lives!