Godtel Prepares For New Home - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/29/05 - Nacogdoches

Godtel Prepares For New Home

by Donna McCollum

In an ironic way Godtel may soon gain the full support of the community it has embraced for years. Some people disapprove of Godtel's downtown location. They're concerned having the homeless gather here hurts business and tourism. But many don't realize, Godtel has been wanting to move for more than five years. Director Michael Silva explained, "We are out of space, just out of space. It was just a daily thing we prayed about."

Prayers have been answered. Thanks to a next door neighbor approaching Godtel with an idea. Silva recalled what was said. "We would like to help you raise money. We see you're out of space. We would like this building to be used in the downtown area for something that's more attractive to the downtown area and I was like, 'Well, that's fine with me. We need the space."

The neighbor is Gary Ashcraft. Land on West Main was located and quietly fundraising began. Closing date for Godtel's property purchase is July 8th. Ashcraft said he had no trouble getting financial commitments. "The main thing I wanted to do was to raise the money for the property to pay for the land locally, so we could go to other people outside the community and say the community supports this."

Trust developed. Progress continued. Now SFA design students show off five floor plans providing a glimpse into the possibilities. At first glance the designs look elaborate, but in reality they're quite frugal. Godtel wants a new building, but nothing extravagant. In fact they've requested the new facility be unairconditioned, just like at the present location. Construction funds will be raised through private donations, foundation grants and the sale of the downtown building.

The goal is for the community to embrace Godtel's efforts. Silva said his desire is, "I want to let the community see that we just don't house bums. That we have a definite heart set to change people's lives. We want them working. We want them to save money. We want to help make them productive individuals in our community."

That side of the ministry was a side of Godtel Ashcraft learned over time. He's now calling the business project a personal blessing.

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