Wednesday, December 10, 2008
We have a farm.
As you know we have been praying for a farm or 'finca' base; a place that would be not only a home to the resident community, but also a place to care for and accommodate people we meet who desperately need some time away from the lifestyle of San Antonio. At other times of the year, it would be a place to offer training and retreat.
As we began to look at properties available, we discovered that a 4 bedroom farm with 35,000 square meters of land would cost at least 800,000 euros, and would probably be in need of some modifications to make it suitable and in all honesty we felt a little freaked out by the sheer cost.
Anyway, undaunted, we let our dreams take flight, and imagined a place of tranquillity, a place that could be ecologically friendly, a place where we could grow food and keep chickens, probably just for eggs but I am not averse to eating the odd bird!
Last week, we looked in the local Ibiza newspaper and saw advertised a 7 bedroom, 200 year old farm house for rent with 500,000 square meters of land (over 100 acres) in the hills above San Antonio. We never imagined that such a place would be available to rent - suddenly it looked possible that our dreams could be realised long before we had even dared to hope....
On further viewing, we discovered that this place is powered by solar energy, has 3 wells that collect rainwater to supply the living and irrigation needs of the farm, contains a bread oven, open fireplace and could have a wood burner fuelled by the plentiful woodland around it.
As we got out of our car for the first viewing, I said to Tracy, Bruce and Helen, 'all we need now is for the agent to say there's a little chapel on the premises...'
As we were about to leave, the agent said 'oh, and there is a little chapel - la capellita - just over on the hill there....'!
It's not a large chapel, just a small one man chapel built by the owner to honour the promise that he made to God, that if he survived the Algerian war, he would return to his home and build a chapel.
Surely such a place had to be meant for us! But at what price?
Well actually, just a little less than we are all paying right now. It's been a bit tense because there was an awful lot of interest from other people in this place, and we weren't sure we would get it!
But as we prayed that God would give us favour, we discovered that the owner had a lot of emotion invested in this place. A couple had offered to pay her more euros than she was asking a month, but she felt that they were not the right people for her old family home. She wanted the place to be lived in by children and to feel an affinity with the tenants.
She asked us to give her 3 days to decide whether she wished to offer the place to us; but the next day, we received a call from the agent offering us the tenancy of the property. We have now signed the contract and get the keys on the 1st January!!!!!
So - miraculously - God has provided a farm on top of a mountain with spectacular views of the island. We can see the sun rise over the Mediterranean Sea from one side of the house, and watch the sunset over San Antonio on the other.
There are pomegranate trees, a lemon tree, vines, olive trees, almond trees, fields for vegetables and animals, chicken coop, stables, milking barn, and acres of forests and walks.
We even have permission and space to create 2 more bedrooms.
There are challenges ahead, we have to raise quite a bit of money to relocate and make it suitable for use in the way that we envisage but hopefully it will come. We are talking about 25,000 euros.........
Anyway as you can imagine we are extremely happy and very grateful to God for what I can only describe as a miracle.
By the way that is a picture of the farm and all the land that you can see is ours to enjoy!