I just realized that I haven't shared any of the story of the flat that we're staying in while we're in Portsmouth, England. Well, we have truly been given a gift. Last May when Chris and I were here for 10 days Chris met a man named Pete Clifton. He wasn't able to chat with him for too long but did spend part of one afternoon getting to know him. Pete lives in a 2 bedroom flat with a roll-in shower, which fits our needs perfectly. So when Gareth told him that we were returning to England for 8 weeks this summer he volunteered to let us stay in his flat for the first 4 weeks by ourselves for free and he would stay at a friend's house. Isn't that a generous gift!! 4 weeks is a long time to give up your own home, I was so grateful!
It gets better........when we arrived here our first day we dropped our bags off at the flat and I met with Pete to go over some things. He had asked some girls from the church to clean the flat from top to bottom before we came so that it would be spotless for us, which is certainly was! He also cleaned out a few of his dresser drawers leaving them empty for us to use. Then he moved all of his clothes from one closet to another to give us an entire closet to use for hanging up whatever clothes we had! He had towels neatly folded for us with brand new unopened containers of soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, and a toothpaste for us to use if we forgot our own. He also stocked the fridge, freezer, and cabinets with goodies and said to help ourselves to whatever was there. When we walked intot he kids' room he had emptied it out and put in 3 bean bag chairs for them to play on and put some of his grandchildren's toys in the corner so that they could feel at home and have something to play with. It's been absolutely amazing! He has been so kind and considerate and has checked in on us each week to be sure we have what we need and don't have any questions. What a caring person!
This week however, the did even more. Another family had offered to host us in their home for the last 4 weeks of our trip. They are great people and a ton of fun and we'd love to stay with them, however they have 2 cats and a long haired dog......Chris is allergic to all three, especially cats! He's got the kind of allergies where he can go into a home where the previous owners had cats and he'll be congested in a very brief period of time - bummer! So we were really sad that we couldn't stay with them because we knew that it would be fun for all four of us (they have a son and daughter who are 7 and 10 years old and love playing with our kiddies!). When Pete heard this dilemma he immediately came to me and offered his flat for another 4 weeks. He said that he really wants Chris to be comfortable physically and get all the rest that he needs and he doesn't want us all to have to uproot everything especially since the kids are really settling in to their temporary home. So we are able to stay where we are for the entire length of our trip.....no need for extra ramps or figuring out how to use a shower for the last 4 weeks, we're staying here!
Again, God has provided it all for us - completely free of charge - amazing!