Design on a Lempira

I feel like I just spent a week in someone else's life.

I've always enjoyed anything to do with decorating. When we lived in the States, my favorite channel was HGTV. I remember watching design shows in which homeowners would work with an interior decorator to create a beautiful space. Although I was fascinated by these shows, I never dreamed I'd ever actually get to work with an interior designer. Foreign missions and interior design just don't go together. Life in a third-world country is much more rustic; we think functionally and worry little about aesthetics. Working with an interior designer would never happen here...or so I thought.

About six months ago, I began to plan and save for Robbie's new office, which will be located in the new church building. I wanted to have a desk and built-in bookshelves made for him. One night I was talking to my mom on Skype, I mentioned that I wish I knew more about interior design, because I'd love to make his office look very professional and distinguished. She replied, "You know, I should ask Liza Ellis if she could help you." I had never met Liza, but she'd been coming to Mom's Sunday school class for several months. She had a degree in interior design and was working at an architectural firm in Raleigh.

"Do you really think she'd mind a few questions? I would love to get an idea of paint colors and how to do the curtains for that arched window!"

I began to communicate with Liza by email over the next few weeks. Before I knew it, she had sent me a beautiful plan for Robbie's office, complete with paint colors and fabric swatches. It was a dream come true!

Robbie's future office began to take shape. But the rest of the building still needed work. Our situation here is quite different from building a church in the U.S. We cannot finance this project. We pay for it as the money comes in. The plan is to get the building to occupancy level in order to move in as soon as possible. Then, we will do detail work (paint, ceramic, drop ceilings) as the funds are available. Since we'd be working project by project over the course of several months or even years, our concern was that the building would be a patchwork of different designs. We needed one overall design scheme. Since Liza seemed so willing to help, I timidly asked her if she'd mind advising us on wall colors for other areas of the building.

After we relayed to Liza our needs for the new building, she put together designs for the two nursery rooms and three classrooms. Then this past week, she flew down to spend eight days with us. She toured the new building and gave us ideas for some problem areas. We went to lighting, paint, and ceramic tile stores where she found beautiful choices for the classrooms, offices, kitchen, and bathrooms. We can't purchase everything right away, but when we do, the building will have an professional, cohesive design.

I am still pinching myself! I just spent a week with a professional designer who came to work on our building, free of charge! Who would have thought?

Our heavenly Father delights in surprising His children with special, unexpected blessings. It has been our prayer that this church building be a testimony of excellence and beauty to reflect the character of the Lord. And He answered this prayer above and beyond anything we could have imagined!

1 Response
  1. Kathy Says:

    I loved this blog! As your email popped up about it, I was actually watching HGTV and just yesterday we remodeled our master bathroom. Apparently we share that interest too, Christine. How wonderful God is to bless you so through Liza!

    Years ago I dreamed out loud, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if heaven turned out to be our mansion, but empty and ready to decorate from Warehouse A, B or C. . ." Bert said my dream of heaven sounded more like a nightmare to him. He wants a turn-key home in heaven, no decorating to do!

    "I go to prepare a place for YOU." One day, home will be perfectly suited to our individual desires by our Abba Papa!

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