Saturday, September 13

Apartment Saga...and God's goodness

Let me start off by explaining that it's more difficult to rent an apartment in Brazil than it is to buy one. And I had not idea of this when I began the hunt for an apartment in the city 3 1/2  weeks ago! My first problem was that I went into the apartment hunting process with my American mindset. I thought I'd go look at several apartments over the course of a couple days, choose the one I liked, sign the papers, move and be done. Not so. My first indication that this may take longer than normal... (what is normal here anyway? there I go again trying to "americanize" my life in Brasil!) ...was that the real estate company - where you pick up the keys to look at any apartment - didn't have the keys to any of the apartments I wanted to see. So I came back the next day when they said they would have them...only to go to the first apartment and discover that the keys they gave me didn't work. Ok. Back to the realtor to explain. Keep in mind that things just take longer in Brazil. So I was lucky if I got to see two apartment in an afternoon. After going to the realtor's office, them copying my documents (Brazilian id, etc) and me signing a document saying I'm taking the keys but I promise to bring them back (at least that's what I assume it says...) and then finding the apartment amidst the construction and myriad of one way streets that are always going the wrong direction where you need to turn... Suffice it to say that everything just takes more time here.

So I finally settled on an apartment that was basically one block from my colleagues and one block from some other missionary friends. Perfect location right?!? So I asked the realtor to send me what they needed from me in order for me to rent this apartment. Here's the list:

Copy of my Brazilian ID card and RGE (which is like our SS card, I think)
Copies of my last 3 paychecks
Proof of income (w2)
And find one co-signer who has two houses paid off or two co-signers each with one house paid off and they also need to provide these documents along with their marriage certificate, house documents, etc, etc, etc.

Wow. To rent an apartment! So I got to work gathering these document and finding co-signers and took it all in to the realtor. My second indication that this may take longer than "normal" was when I explained that my paychecks and this proof of income was all in USD because I receive my salary from the US. They didn't fully understand that so they said they needed to see proof of income in Brazil. I said I don't pay taxes in Brazil so I don't have the document that they want to see. Then they said they would probably need to see my last 3 Brazilian bank statements showing this money arriving in Brazil...but they would let me know. Turns out that about 3 days later they requested exactly that. So I scraped up my last 3 Brazilian bank statements - at their request - that showed deposits equaling my paychecks to use as proof of my income in Brazil. And I waited. In full I waited almost 3 weeks to hear from them since I first gave them my initial documents.

Yesterday (September 12) I passed one month of being back in Brazil. And yesterday around 4pm Brazil time I got my response from the realtor. I was denied because I failed to show proof of income in Brazil. It was too late in the day to call them back to get clarification so now I wait until Monday. I'm not sure what the issue is. If it the amount of my salary or the type of document I used to prove my salary here in Brazil - which was at their request. Either way I am desperately clinging to what I know to be Truth...God is in control.

Today I was reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9 which says, "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."

The notes in my study bible say this:

"The people is Israel were foolish to act as if they knew what God was thinking and planning. His knowledge and wisdom are far greater than man's. We are foolish to try to fit God into our mold - to make his plans and purposes conform to ours. Instead we must strive to fit into his plans."

How convicting when I think of all the plans I was making to move soon and how I was trying to fit God into those plans! Foolishness! So today I'm choosing to simply rest in His goodness that I still have a great place to live in this time of waiting. And that my landlord lowered my rent because He wants me to stay longer. And that God alone is Sovereign. There's a song that has become my favorite lately...and now I understand why. Here are some of the words:

You are working in our waiting
You're sanctifying us
When beyond our understand
You're teaching us to trust

You are wisdom unimagined
Who could understand your ways
Reigning high above the heavens
Reaching down in endless grace

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You're with us in the fire and the flood
You're faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us.

If you've made it this far in this blog...congratulations!!! I'd love to hear your experiences of waiting on the Lord.

Here's the song if you're interested:

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