Immanuel Christian Fellowship (ICF), a Hopewell Network church located at 1050 Mount Joy Road, Manheim, PA is celebrating a new door of opportunity that opened to them on April 6. 2018. An almost one-acre lot and house adjoining ICF’s property to the west went up for auction as part of an estate settlement of a neighbor who lived next to the church during its entire tenure. Many from ICF had interaction with him over the years.
Though logically and in the natural it didn’t seem to make sense for ICF to acquire additional property at this time, there was a growing conviction among the leadership team and many at ICF that the Lord was prompting the church family to acquire this property in preparation for the next season he has in store for the church. So, ICF took steps to prepare for this possibility.
The day of the auction brought much excitement and some apprehension, but after the bidding stalled and the family removed the reserve, ICF was able to purchase the house and lot for under market value. An encouraging confirmation came when the daughters of the former neighbor came to us after the sale excited that ICF had gotten the property. One daughter, in tears of joy, said, “We are so glad you got the house; Dad always said he wanted the church to have the property when he was gone. We really believe God wanted ICF to have the property.”
So, what will ICF use the property for? In the near future it will provide additional safe recreational space for children as well as special church outreach events like the Community Ice Cream Social. It will also provide overflow parking for ICF’s annual “Father’s Heart” Conference and similar events. Longer term it will open up options for future building expansion.
At the time of purchase, the property was neglected, deteriorated, and overrun with years of stored items. Much of the junk has been steadily removed and the property cleaned up. After much consideration, the only wise step appears to be the eventual removal of the deteriorating house. While at first this was discouraging, ICF now sees it as a symbol that ICF will be used to enter people’s lives to clean out the accumulated debris of the past and demolish works of the enemy to make way for God to do new and exciting things in their lives as they come to know the one who created them and loves them deeply.
As ICF finishes 2018 and heads into 2019, there is expectancy that God is opening doors for ICF to have impact in the Sporting Hill community in which the church is located. This property purchase is a sign in the natural realm that God is giving ICF open doors into the community to influence the spiritual atmosphere and bring new life and hope to those around us.
By Pastor Paul Blank, Immanuel Christian Fellowship