Paul & Floss Gummer
We heard about Liberty Trust soon after arriving in NZ from UK eleven years ago. Floss comes from Whakatane so there was a sense of familiarity about the Trust’s origins. We had no reservations in signing up and waiting ten years to receive our interest free loan because, as they say, “Good things take time”. The loan is a real blessing.
We live in an old relocated villa on an acre property in Palmerston North. We spent ten years renovating our house and added an extension using old recycled doors, windows and accessories collected from demolition yards. It has been a labour of love, especially putting on the finishing touches such as coloured glass in old colonial doors, using old Victorian door locks and getting mouldings made up at a local sawmill to save money. Old villas inevitably have lots of gaps, cracks and holes in the wrong places that in our case used to let the wind and rain in. At 3am one night we awoke to rainwater pouring into the bedroom! Thankfully, these are all ‘healed’ now – our neighbour affectionately calls our place ‘Polyfilla Villa’.
I guess it’s the same as God seeing the potential in us in our broken state and gradually restoring us, eh? The potter and the clay……..the renovator and the polyfilla…..
We didn't actually need the interest free loan to repay a mortgage but instead have used part of it to connect the house to city services as we were on tank water and our septic tank was in desperate need of being renewed. When the council said they were putting services in our road, we jumped at the opportunity. It ended up costing tens of thousands – not a cheap exercise but well worthwhile….it’s not often you can be pleased burying your money underground with nothing physical to see for it!
We believe God is in favour of living in beautiful surroundings (well, He does have a good track record of doing nice surroundings) and lack of money needn’t inhibit that. Floss has made some lovely flower gardens, mostly from cuttings and Paul has made various architectural features and pieces of furniture from demolition timber. We have bought items such as a colonial mantelpiece for $20, got an ornate old coal range for green dollars, etc. It’s all about seeing the potential and applying lots of ‘elbow grease’. We now have a spare room for guests to stay in and this year alone we have had five lots of overseas visitors.
We plan to use more of our loan to landscape the property as the fences are literally rotting away and falling down; paths and a wider drive would be an asset and boxing in veggie garden raised beds, etc would make things take shape.
We plan to keep the rest of our loan and continue paying into Liberty Trust for our children, Annie and Johnny, who are 12 and 10 respectively. In ten years this loan could be invaluable in these times of increasing house prices. We have also set up an account with the Trust for a family we know who are currently on overseas mission.
The beauty of all this is that it is God’s way with finance and as long as folk are prepared to go against the tide of ‘get-now-pay-later’ and ‘pay and wait’, God rewards us with the savings the rest of the world craves. Ironical, but God’s way has often been seemingly bizarre such as Noah building his ark and Moses standing at the shore of the Red Sea. It’s all about faith, eh!
So, a huge ‘THANKS’ to everyone involved behind the scenes at Liberty Trust and Ark Resources. God bless you all.
Paul & Floss, Annie & Johnny Gummer
28 February 2008