By Karl Van Cura, Executive Director
For several years, a red-tagged, neglected old house next door to our Sioux City ministry office and teen center has been an eye sore and safety concern for our staff, kids, and neighborhood. Garbage frequently piled up, homeless attempted to move in, and questionable evening activities were a danger.
About 6 months ago, I shared a vision with a YFC partner in an unexpected conversation that went something like this…
What’s a wild dream you have for YFC?
Well, we have this house next door that I’d love to do the neighborhood a favor and tear it down to create a safe, recreational outdoor space for our YFC kids. They could just step out the teen center door and play soccer or basketball, and just hangout..
Several months later, I received a phone call late one Friday afternoon. It was the same YFC partner whom I shared the vision with. It went something like this…“My wife and I talked it over, and we would like to present YFC $100,000 to buy the house next door, tear it down and create an opportunity towards your dream.”
After I picked my jaw off the floor and cried, we had a great conversation about the vision for a small recreational park the space could become.
God sweetened the deal by bringing Jeff and Rachel Carlson of RE/MAX Preferred – Carlson Real Estate Group. alongside this dream. They immediately got involved to make an offer on our behalf, which led to the owner’s acceptance and a quick closing on the home. The Carlson’s personally waived their broker fees and gifted the closing costs back to YFC. I am humbled and grateful for their excellent work and generous hearts.
We purchased the property in November and demolition began right after Christmas. By mid-January, the house was gone and the property had been roughly graded by Triple D Contracting. We are set for a spring final grading and seeding, which will allow us to extend fencing around the property.
It’s amazing to see how God sends people to YFC to offer not only their financial resources, but their occupations and talents as a resource to our mission. Don’t think for a moment that because you don’t have time to volunteer with YFC that you can’t contribute. God can use you by multiplying your time, talents, and occupation to bless others and organizations like YFC.
Stay tuned for more details as this vision continues to unfold. My prayer is that God provides the details and resources to make this dream a reality for young people in their neighborhood to have a safe recreational space to enjoy