It has been a harrowing ride since September 2020 when we first learned that our rental property at 391 Gladstone would be listed on the commercial real estate market, date unknown. The pandemic had squashed the intentions of the owners, and their corporation was liquidating unnecessary assets. The direction was clear and we began the journey to explore the purchase of the building we were renting. It has been the central focus of my prayer calendar letter for the past five months, and truly God has answered.
For all you bottom line people: Effective October 29, 2021, the property at 391 Gladstone has a new owner: Ottawa Innercity Ministries.
For all who like stories: God has given us everything we need to complete this deal, and it was quite a journey to discover God’s direction. Honestly there are layers upon layers of miracles of God’s provision involved in the story, going back as far as December 2018, just months after we began our two-year lease.
Following is an account of some of the miracles/divine appointments:
· God’s clear orchestration of a connection between Ken and the CEO (representing the owner) coming through a divine appointment for the two of us to meet and become friends.
· This friendship/relationship which begun with a brief hour and a half site visit would become the cornerstone and launch the positive intervention by the CEO on OIM’s behalf – on several occasions throughout the process.
· The proposed offer was initially accepted (after several delays), but neither the Seller’s nor Buyer’s lawyers/accountants could find a way through a ‘shares purchase’ labyrinth. The deadline for acceptance passed and we did not know what would come next. A call from the CEO confirmed that this method of purchase would not work, and the purchase would change to be a direct ‘asset purchase’. We were back ‘in the game'!
· Several mortgage lenders refused to loan to OIM as a charity, especially during a pandemic. A quiet recommendation from a friend of the ministry pointed us to a lead, who later turned out to be the broker of the deal.
· OIM’s appraisal of the building came in after the offer was accepted, at $140K over asking/agreed upon price. The moment the deal was completed, OIM’s equity in the building rose significantly.
· There is so much more than I would love to tell: * We don’t have to move. Not at the end of our lease, maybe not until the return of the Lord. *The location is perfect for our needs. *There is not one, not even one building that our searching revealed that even came close to what we now have. *Our street friends do not have to try to find us (if we would have had to move). *We are not in a NIMBY neighborhood (Not in my backyard); in fact, we have great relationships with a couple of our neighbors already. *Everything in the building (structurally) is solid and all the important components (HVAC, electric, plumbing, roof, furnace, etc.) has all been replaced in 2015-2016. The only thing we might need is a new hot water tank – sometime within the next ten years. That’s all they could find. It is all new equipment in a older, but very solid building.
· So much to say, so little space.
· When I took staff to 391 Gladstone in July 2018, we considered whether to rent it or look for another location, it became very clear we should take it. I took staff to see the space, we decided it was ‘the one’, and we prayed (right then and there) a prayer of rededication to the Lord. The space was never meant to be a restaurant, but to be used in ministry (as had been done by the Gladstone Salvation Army Church) and used for the extension of the Kingdom of God in Ottawa.
Our goal is to realize all God has for us as we press onward to increased growth and development, all the while trusting in God to direct our steps and provide all that we need to fulfill our purpose in the City of Ottawa.
Thanks be to God!
~Ken, Executive Director