I felt so alone that September morning, sitting under the big oak tree behind my Aunt and Uncle’s home. A pool of tears blotted out the “apartments for rent” in the Sunday paper. The remaining tears clogged my heart. Several months earlier I had moved to the United States with my toddler son to join my husband only to find that he had a new life–one with no room for us.
I had a low-paying job and no home, no car, no furniture, no savings, no child support. My budget for an apartment was $350, and apartments for that price were in the wrong neighborhood. I had been searching for several weeks now. What was I to do? And then I saw the only ad not drenched by tears: “Privately-owned condo rented out by a real estate agent.” The description was too good to be true but my uncle and I thought we’d check it out anyway since it was so close to their home.
The driveway was flanked by well-manicured lawns. A clean playground circled by a bed of buttercups sat off to the side. The security-locked doorway opened into a beautiful foyer. As my shoes sunk into the carpet, I began to guess the rent. The shiny, clean elevator that took us to the second floor and the softly lit, floral scented hallway lead us to #203. The large air-conditioned apartment with floor to ceiling windows and new appliances quickly doubled my estimate. We were ready to leave without even asking the price, but the agent began to tell us of the history of the apartment. So we politely listened: The condominium belonged to an African prince. He used it on business trips to the United States. But business didn’t bring him here as often. The condominium was paid for and he just wanted enough to pay the real estate agency their service fee. So, the rent was just $350.00!
Jez and I moved in the following Sunday. Two suitcases of clothes, a metal chair, a single bed, two plates, a skillet, 2 forks, a knife and a spoon. But it was home—clean and safe. And the story of the African prince was just the beginning of more that spoke of God’s love for us.