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Deacon Henk eased himself into his favorite chair and reached for a magazine. Dinner was over, and he and Marie had done the dishes together. It had been a long day, and he looked forward to his evening of quiet with Marie, a magazine, the TV, and maybe some gentle conversation.

The phone rang and Marie answered; “it’s for you, Henk”, she said.  Henk put the phone to his ear and heard a male voice already talking. “… so then I get this letter from the bank and the best I can make out of it is that they’re going to take the house, and I have to make a payment now or plan to lose my house. I don’t know what to do. I’ve been trying to get caught up, but I just can’t do it.”

“Herm, is that you?” asked Henk as soon as he could get a word in. “Ja, it’s me. I’m so nervous about this call I forgot how to talk on the phone. Shoot, Henk, I never in a thousand years thought I would be making a call like this to one of our own deacons! Never.”

“Well, Herm, sounds like you’re up against foreclosure alright. That’s sure. I’m sorry to hear it, but you’re sure not alone.”
“Not much help, but I guess it’s true. I’ve been sleeping poorly, and getting pretty mean mouthed with the wife, if you know what I mean. Never thought I’d be in this spot. Hard to talk about, but now that I finally called you, I can’t stop.”

“Well, Herm, I do know there is a seminar for people in your shoes that’s being run by a group in town. Meets weekly, and what I hear is that they have some good advice, and also coffee and a lot of good support for each other.”  “Hmmm, I might check that out. Hadn’t heard of it. Hadn’t heard much since I been staying pretty much to myself here the last few months.”
“Sounds like we should have coffee soon, Herm. I haven’t been much of a listener lately either.” “Oh heck, don’t take any blame, Henk. My wife says I’ve been a bear with a sore tooth, but I’ve been hiding it as best I can from the church folks. Having coffee with you sounds good though.”

“Herm, the deacons have been talking about starting a learning and discussion group about family finances. Your call makes me think we should do something and not just talk. I know Marie and I have been running into some new questions ourselves about how well we’re really set for our retirement. I heard that Welcome All CRC started a class and it’s going real well. Maybe we could see what they’re doing, and try something like it. Maybe you’d be interested? And meanwhile, let’s have coffee this week and talk about the fix you’re in right now. I don’t know what the options are, but I’d sure like to talk it over with you and see if there’s some things the church could do.” .............To be continued?

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