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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Closing the Doors

Dear friends and supporters:

I wanted to share with you what happened yesterday at 5:30 pm – 30 minutes before we closed our doors at Generations Together's preschool campus.

Our doorbell rang and I found standing at the door, a tall pleasant looking gentleman who introduced himself as Pastor Rudy Bond. We sat down in my office as the last minutes of the day and our hopes for keeping GT open ticked away.

We talked about many things. He listened to me describe out 2 ½ year struggle to find a home and find funding. We talked about ministries and doing the right thing because its right, not because its easy.

He encouraged me not to lose hope and added that God does things in his own way and for his own reasons. We shared experiences in working with ministries and organizations and people and I found a kindred spirit in Bishop Bond. He was a great comfort to me and as the clock struck six, Pastor Bond led several of us in a prayer for courage and guidance. As he left, he gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him when he got back on Monday or Tuesday and things had settled.

I really didn’t realize what had happened nor had it register what he’d been saying to me until this morning as I was sitting in church. I think I may have had a visitation from the very angel I’d been praying for all week and typically, I didn't recognize it. Last night I was miserable and in despair.

Today I have renewed hope. There’s no sense to it by any standard known to the sensible world, but I do have hope…

We were worried about whether or not we’d be able to get all our things out of the Cornerstone property in time. Their treasure had threatened to padlock the place on the first. Everybody’s sick. I have the flu. Paula our bookkeeper is recovering from surgery and may have pneumonia. Sherry, our child care director's father died Saturday. I didn’t think we could do it. No one from the owner group would return my calls. Dianna Wilkerson, however, called them up and by some miracle, they extended our time to get our things out by a week. So Tuesday we’ll start shutting everything down, but till then everyone can rest and recoup. That was a blessing I didn’t think we’d get. (It also buys us a little more time – but I’m not going to think about that right now…).

Till then, we’ll do a shutdown and reorganization plan. We might just be able to keep the program going for a while if we can find space somewhere. If we can figure out a way to run with a positive cash flow, we can start paying off our creditors at least. Our nursery is shutting down over the next few weeks. It’s very hard to find infant care, so everyone’s struggling and OSLC is letting our babies stay long enough to find them new day care. God bless them for that.

We might have to become Generation Alone, but that may be what we have to do for now.

Friday, I received a call from a gentleman who offered to give us $5000. I drove up to his place to get it and couldn’t find them. The company has a huge yellow sign right beside the North Loop. I’ve seen it dozens of times, but for some reason I kept driving past it without seeing it. I called them twice and passed by the place about 6 times. By the time I got there, this lovely gentleman had decided to add another $1000 to the check. Maybe God was stalling me – I don’t know. It was one of the stranger things that has happened to me this week and that's saying something.

The money, while not enough to make an offer to Cornerstone, will help us reorganize the adult program and maybe keep that going a bit longer and pay some bills we absolutely have to pay.

I have to tell you, our parents have been so supportive. I’m supposed to call about half of them this weekend if we’re able to stay open. Teachers too! Of course, we can’t (barring something really HUGE), but most have said they’ll be back if we reopen. All of my teachers will come back in a heartbeat if we call them and tell them we’re reopening.

The telling thing to me was when I went into their rooms at the end of the day on Friday. Every room was neat and clean as though it would be open again next week. I’ve seen organizations shut down and time and again I see bitter and angry staff just trash the place, carry off the equipment and basically loot the organization. There has not been a hint of that. Every one of them has been encouraging and really lifted me up when I was down. I stand in awe of them. Instead of being angry at losing their jobs, they were worrying about me. Instead of trying to get every nickel they could out of us, they came to work like it was a regular week, knowing we probably wouldn’t be able to pay them any time soon.

God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform. I’ll keep you posted as we discover what wonders he has for us next.

Thank you all for your prayers and for your constant support.

Tom King

Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the
person doing it. - Chinese proverb

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