Jonahs by Jet

House for Sale

David grumbled as he tossed his baseball mitt onto the closet shelf. “It sure is impossible to keep this house so clean!”

“You can say that again!” Keri nodded as she stacked books.

David and Keri and Mom had been cleaning house for weeks. There was a “For Sale by Owner” sign on the front lawn. Every time someone called wanting to have a tour of the house, David and Keri had to rush around putting all the clutter away. Then they ran next door to play with their neighbor twins, Chad and Brad, while mom showed the house to a possible buyer.

David and Keri’s doctor dad was in Nigeria for a month helping at the Ile-Ife Seventh-day Adventist Hospital. He was also checking to see what the family would need to pack for their move to Africa.

Suddenly Keri thought a silly thought and giggled out loud. “Do you know what happened last week?”

“What?” David looked up from the Legos he was stacking.

Keri smiled as she told the funny story. “Mom was canning plum jelly and doing laundry at the same time. She had a whole bunch of clean clothes ready to fold. The clothes were piled in a mountain on the couch. Then the phone rang. Someone wanted to see our house.”

“So, Mom stuffed some of the laundry back into the dyer and piled the rest into three big laundry baskets and carried them out to our van!”

David laughed to think of his mom hiding her messes! “It’s just too much work having a perfect house. I’ll be glad when this house is sold!” he said.

“Me too!” Keri agreed

But David sighed. “Mom said about ten people has seen our house already and no one wants to buy it yet. We are supposed to sell it by next week when Dad comes back from Africa. We have to leave for Mission Institute then.” David breathed another worried sigh.

“What’s Mission Institute, anyway?” Keri asked.

“That’s like a school where you learn how to be missionaries,” David explained.

“Hmm.” I wonder what kids do there? Keri thought, as she kept stacking books onto the shelf.

Just then Mom’s voice called from the kitchen, “David! Keri! Wash your hands for supper!”

Keri and David washed their hands quickly and sat down at the dining-room table with Mom. The table seemed kind of empty without Dad in his chair. “How many more days until Dad comes back?” Keri asked Mom.

“Hmm . . .” Mom eyed the calendar on the wall. “Dad will meet us at Andrews University in exactly nine days! We don’t have much time to sell this house, do we?”

“Mom, is it true what I heard that real estate woman say?” Keri wondered. “She said people wouldn’t want to buy our house because it’s too big and costs too much for the young families around here.”

“Yes,” Mom replied. “It’s true. Lots of people think we won’t’ be able to sell this house. But you know what?”

David and Keri looked up from their noodles. “What?” they asked.

Mom sounded hopeful. “I really believe God wants us to be missionaries. And I think, if He wants us to be in Africa, He will sell our house here! In fact, I’ve been praying a new prayer today. I told Jesus that I’ll sell this house for any price to a buyer who says he is praying about it. I just know Jesus can help us sell this house if He wants us to move to Nigeria. Maybe I’ve just been charging too much!”

The next afternoon the phone rang again while David and Keri were playing in the family room. Mom answered it in the kitchen. David and Keri could tell that it was another possible buyer asking to come for a tour. They sighed and rolled their eyes at each other. “Here we go again!” David complained.

“David, can you wipe your bathroom sink?” Mom asked. “And Keri, please put away the paper dolls on the floor of your room.”

David wiped the bathroom sink with cleanser, while Keri gathered her paper dolls into a big Ziploc bag and slid the bag onto the closet shelf.

Mom put some cups into the dishwasher and ran around the house for a quick inspection. When a blue car pulled into the driveway, Mom said, “Thanks, kids! You’ve been great helpers! You can run over and play with Chad and Brad for awhile, if you’d like. I’ll call you when the visitors leave.”

A well-dressed man and woman rang the front doorbell, as David and Keri slipped out the back.

Keri and David chatted with their friends, but they really didn’t want to play next door. They were too curios about what was happening at their own house!

Finally, the blue car backed out of the driveway, and Keri and David ran home. “Well, Mom? Is it sold yet?” David asked eagerly.

Mom’s eyes twinkled like she was holding back a smile. “Remember I told you I had prayed about this, and I promised Jesus I’d take any price if the buyers said they were praying about it?”

“Yes, yes, we remember! So? . . .” David was bursting to know if the house was sold, and Mom was staling!

“Well, Mr. and Mrs. Spain really liked our house…But they said they need to go home and pray about it!” Mom’s whole face beamed with joy.

David and Keri jumped up and down. “Hurrah! Hurrah!”

On Sunday, when the Spains came back, David and Keri were playing a game in just the next room, so they could listen in! “How did you choose the price for your house?” Mr. Spain asked their mom. “What we paid, plus the cost of the new fence and wallpaper,” Mom answered.

“We’ll buy it!” Mr. and Mrs. Spain said. Mr. Spain reached into his coat pocket for a checkbook. “You know, God gave us a verse in Joshua about your house! It says, ‘Do not be afraid to possess this land.’ ”

David’s Mom smiled a huge smile. “Our whole family has been praying about this too. You are God’s special answer to our prayers!”

At bedtime, David and Keri and Mom thanked God for selling their house.

“Won’t that real estate woman be surprised, Mom?” David asked.

“She sure will be!” Mom chuckled. “She didn’t know God is in the business of selling houses!”

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