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Bruce & Joanna Hingston

In April this year we heard the exciting news that our interest-free loan had been advanced. Like most other people we had been looking forward to this for ten years.

We first joined Liberty Trust after a friend presented the details during a church service.

Bruce and I started our married life living in a mobile home for four years while we saved for our first home - a 9metre x 6metre converted barn. We lived here for 5 years and had two children. Then, 8 months pregnant with our 3rd daughter we bought our first real house, and it was 3 years later that we were introduced to Liberty Trust. We are now in our 22nd year of our marriage and live in Auckland with our 6 children (5 girls and one boy). We have used our loan to buy an apartment near the University. It is currently tenanted, and we are envisaging using it for accommodation for our children should they decide to go to University.

I’d like to relate to you now, the story of how we bought our first “real” house. It was 1995, and we lived in the South Island, several miles north of Christchurch. With a third baby on the way we were growing out of our little home so we decided to look around for a section in order to build a kitset house. We heard about a local woman who had a section she needed to sell and made her an offer of $7,000. The first miracle occurred when she accepted this offer. The purchase of this section used up all our savings and we decided to consider building several months in the future, once we’d saved a little more. However, a few weeks later on a shopping trip in Christchurch, I called in to have a look through a relocatable house, just on a whim really. Stepping across the threshold I instantly fell in love with this house, and when I arrived home I wore my poor husband’s ear off, extolling its virtues. Finally he consented to look at the house, was relatively satisfied with its suitability and accepted the vendor’s offer of $45k including shifting fees. Without any legal advice we signed the papers. We hired a contractor to measure the foundations (each house is unique and foundations must be made perfectly to fit each one) and to start laying them. It was while he was pouring the concrete for the very last foundation footing that a stranger arrived.

Now this man had just purchased land in order to plant a vineyard and was preparing to hire workers from the area. Coincidentally, he had also just bought a relocatable house. The same house.

During a subsequent discussion it transpired that several months previously he had bought this house, and signed the purchase agreement, from the elderly owners for $35,000. Their son, not being satisfied with his parent’s deal, had gone behind their back and resold the house to us for $45,000. Now he was attempting to negate the previous contract. Obviously the local landowner had the only legal contract, but we had foundations in place which would only fit one house. This was the quandary we found ourselves in. Fortunately the landowner was also a Christian and did not want to cause an upset in the local community. He therefore proposed that we cancel our agreement and he proceed with his agreement to purchase the house. Once this was legally done, he would on-sell the house to us for our agreed price of $45K. We were obviously relieved with this outcome and trotted off to the bank to apply for the loan. Amazingly, in our naiveté we had never considered the bank’s lending criteria. In our circumstances (i.e. no collateral, and no credit history) they would only loan against a relocated house once it was on site and connected to services. Our previous agreement, which we’d signed with no legal advice, required us to pay the full fee upfront before the house would be uplifted from its current site. There would have been no way we could have done this, and in hindsight we could have been sued for breach of contract. But our amazing God, who knows the end from the beginning, had arranged for another Christian man, who lived less than 5 miles away, to buy the house for us in advance. The house itself was 40 miles away, which in itself is a miracle. It could have been sold to an unknown trader 50 miles in the other direction.

So, the landowner bought the house for $35K, and delivered it to us, whereupon we connected it to the services, and applied for our mortgage, to buy the house we already had. God blessed the landowner with a nest-egg towards his own house, and he blessed us with being able to purchase a house through a process that only God could have arranged. Doesn’t this make you shake your head in wonder? What a mighty God we serve!

Bruce & Joanna Hingston

2 October 2008