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  • Doug Spencer

"Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." Psalm 127:1

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

"Unless the LORD builds the house,

those who build it labor in vain." Psalm 127:1

"Lord if you're not in this, then stop me now, because we are all in." That was my daily prayer as I sat in my truck each morning at 6 a.m. above the pond near the job site where I worked alone to build the Aloha House of Hope. The last thing I wanted to do was to spend the two and a half years, working 12 hours a day, six days a week to build a house in vain. When we broke ground and began construction in May of 2017, God had not yet sent us any children. We hired a contractor to get the house framed up and the roof put on. Once that was done, we took over in February 2018 to begin the monumental task to complete what would become the Aloha House of Hope.

Donna and I had sold everything back on Maui (home, rental properties, cars, furniture, etc.) to move to Virginia to start the Aloha House of Hope ministry. Our family construction company had been shut down and we had no income. Our life savings and retirement investments had been cashed in and were rapidly being used to build the Aloha House of Hope and for our personal living expenses. Our financial bucket had a big hole in the bottom which was draining fast and there was no water flowing back into it.

As I drove each each morning to my prayer spot above the pond, I would be filled with anxiety, fear, and doubts. What if I was wrong about hearing from the Lord and had given up an idyllic life on Maui complete with financial security and being around our very close extended family, for nothing? We would never be able to recoup what was being spent to build the Aloha House of Hope. After all, rural Virginia was not Maui and there weren't multi-millionaires flocking there to buy a big house in the middle of nowhere Virginia.

So there I would sit in my truck above that pond each morning crying out to the Lord to stop me if this wasn't His plan. After that simple prayer, I would then strap on my tool belt and start work. Usually by late morning my fears, doubts, and anxieties had subsided and I would be filled with a sense of purpose. I would go to bed being at peace, but when I awoke the next morning, all those doubts and fears would rear their ugly head again and I would repeat the process of driving to my private prayer spot above that pond and crying out to the Lord - "Lord if you're not in this, stop me now, because we are all in.", strapping on my tool belt to start work till the fears, doubts, and anxieties went away, then make the short one mile drive back home in the evening.

This process went on daily, but the Lord knew I was being tormented by the enemy who was putting those doubts, fears, and anxieties in my mind. Finally, in the fall of 2018, after several months of enduring this endless daily cycle of anxiety followed by peace, the Lord decided it was time to free me from this burden. He didn't just whisk those feelings of fears, doubts and anxieties away like smoke up a chimney. Instead our Lord did the one thing that would put an end once and for all to this vicious cycle of feelings and emotions. It was really quite simple, but profound - He sent us four young children in October of 2018. (To read more of the story of these four children, check out the "Who We Are" link on this website and scroll down to "The Kids".) Suddenly the reality of what we were doing took on a whole new dimension. This was real, these were real kids with real challenges. No longer was there any time for fears, doubts, or anxieties. We had our hands full taking care of five kids (our granddaughter Lexi was also living with us full time) and building the Aloha House of Hope.

Life became busy and full in October of 2018 and God used those first four kids (and the many more that came after them) to totally remove any and all doubts, fears, and anxieties. From that beginning in October 2018 my daily prayer in my truck while parked above that pond changed. No longer did I cry out to the Lord "Lord if you're not in this, stop me now, because we are all in", but instead I thanked the Lord "Lord, thank you for not stopping us and allowing us the blessing of being all in for you."

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