Requesting Your Help to Move to Safety!

I’ve recently been reminded of something every FAM Member and visitor to this site knows all too well…that our lives can be turned totally upside-down without a moment’s notice or warning. That’s exactly what happened to me when I hired a young man to help me do some yard work last July, and now I can’t even go outside without concern for my safety.

Since I’m blind, live alone and not at all a “couch potato,” I’m an avid gardener and have literally transformed my yard into an organic fruit orchard and garden space since moving here almost eighteen years ago. That means I thrive in the midst of God’s glory every day of my life, and never cease to be amazed by how His awesome power is revealed in nature–just as declared in Romans 1:20-21!

In the past couple of years, I’ve used the money I inherited when my father died in 2015 to improve my home, which is where I intended to live until the day the Lord calls me to my “eternal” home. So I immediately renovated my bathroom and replaced my hot water heater, and then this past summer, I installed new luxury vinyl plank flooring, replaced my HVAC system and bought a new refrigerator with ice and water dispensers (all of which I love!). That left my kitchen, along with the flooring in the kitchen, dining room and utility room (which I already purchased) to complete my home renovation, so I refinanced my home in August to get the money to do that and was getting estimates for the work when all of my plans came to a screeching halt and I found myself in the midst of a real live nightmare.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that a young man who asked about helping me spread out the mulch I had delivered for my yard one day last July didn’t have good intentions, and I unwisely agreed to help him out by paying him to put out the mulch and pull some weeds, which I could have done myself. So I fell for his sob story and later realized that he had been “stalking” me for days and knew I was blind before asking for work. I was outside when he called out to me from the street, but I ignored him and walked back toward my door and he ran after me…he was pretty determined and I was pretty stupid! He “worked” that Saturday, but I later learned that he took advantage of my blindness and didn’t do what he was supposed to do. For instance, he hid bales of hay and straw behind bushes so I’d think he put them out in the yard, and he didn’t pull the weeds either. In fact, when I asked where the weeds he pulled were, he told me he threw them over the fence into the woods, which I’d never do. I didn’t find that out until someone came a few days later to take pictures in case I need them and showed me where everything was, as well as the weeds he didn’t pull. But by the end of the day, I realized that I had made a mistake hiring him and had a sense of not being safe around him, so instead of telling him not to come back, I said we’d talk the next day and that I Might want to wait a few days to finish up–I didn’t want to tell him not to come back in person.

Well, when I let my dogs out at six the next morning, he was right at the door in my backyard, and since I was in my nightgown and certainly not expecting him or anyone else to be there, I felt VERY vulnerable! He said something about wanting to get an early start and I didn’t say anything because I was definitely concerned for my safety at that point and just wanted to close the door! The Reader’s Digest version is that even though I couldn’t see what he was doing, I probably caught him in the act of stealing my brand new generator, which I keep on my screened patio. It’s nothing short of a miracle that I realized the generator was missing later that day, and since he attempted to keep me from knowing it was gone, I knew he took it. I ran it for a few minutes late Friday afternoon, so I knew it was there before he came on my property. I keep a laundry basket on top of the generator next to my back door for my recycle stuff and then empty it into my big container when it gets full, so he put some boxes where the generator was and put the laundry basket on top of them hoping I wouldn’t realize it was missing for a while. So I called the police and they took pictures of what he did to make me think it was still there (which REALLY upset the deputy) and went to the place I thought he was staying based on things he told me the day before. Since I realized the generator was missing so soon, he still had it, so the deputies brought it back to me and arrested him, charging him with grand theft. A neighbor where he was staying and the lady who owns the house he was staying in told the deputies they saw him with the generator, but he still denied knowing anything about it despite leading the deputy right to it. Then his wife started calling and leaving threatening messages at four o’clock the next morning, saying they had no idea how my “machine” got there and since I got it back, I “need” to call so he can get out of jail. On her last call, she specifically threatened me and said she was coming to my house, so I called the police again and the deputy was there when she came marching up to my house. They’re amazingly bold! The deputy gave her a no trespass and no contact citation, but that didn’t keep them or someone they know from literally trying to kill me.

The following Friday night, someone came into my fenced backyard after midnight, stood on the water faucet under my bedroom window (breaking it) and blew cigarette smoke into my bedroom. The man’s wife has asthma, and since I gave her a bottle of the supplement that really helps with mine, I know it was someone associated with them who did that. I had left the window opened just a crack so I’d be able to hear if anyone went into my screened patio, and I had one of the worst asthma attacks I’ve ever had. It took the police forever to get here, so they were gone by the time the deputies arrived. And when I was outside earlier that day, another man I don’t know came up and literally harassed me for work, but I told him NO and why I no longer trust anyone. He’s pestered me several times since then and I’ve caught him in several lies, so I suspect that he’s associated with Enrique since they live near each other. And a few days after that, someone tried to poison my dogs. There was a very strong pesticide smell whenever I went out either my front or side door, and my oldest dog got very sick and the younger one was sick the next day.

Since I felt my life was in danger, I installed security cameras, alarms on my patio doors and keyed hasp locks on my shed and greenhouse; yet I’m still concerned for my safety because instead of taking a plea deal for time served, thirty nights in the county jail and two years of probation, they’re going to trial. The prosecuting attorney said that makes no sense because he has a record and no defense, and I’ve been subpoenaed for a discovery deposition later this month. Of course, I guess the case goes away if I’m not around to testify, so I no longer go outside alone other than getting my mail and taking my trash cans to and from the road, and I’m miserable being cooped up inside and knowing weeds are taking over my yard.

Meanwhile, more than one hundred thirty-four acres of heavy woods behind my house were cut down in mid to late September, and we’ve had a rash of burglaries and assaults in the neighborhood since then. Two neighbors right across from my bedroom window and one on the other side of the circle from me were burglarized just a few weeks ago, and one night last week, someone was out behind my fence in the backyard (my little dog wanted out and she was barking at them—they were on the side of the yard nearest my door just before nine o’clock). So I turned my back patio light on and heard them walking back to the road. Needless to say, this is no way to live, and even though I love my home and have put so much money and work into it and my yard and never expected to move, I decided to sell my house and move to a small town near one of my aunts. I actually started thinking about moving over a year ago after Hurricane Hermine came through and we were without power for almost a week, which was the first time I realized how corrupt our city government is and felt so totally isolated. But that pales in comparison to no longer feeling safe in my own yard and home!

As we all know, God works in interesting and amazing ways to accomplish His plan in our lives, and finding my new house and buying it was no exception. I found the listing on the first of this month and closed on it seven days later! The house isn’t as nice as my current home, but it’s safe and VERY conveniently located with grocery stores, restaurants, various dollar stores, banks and other interesting places within walking distance, and it has a nice yard to work in and with…and thanks to the generosity of someone I love dearly, I was able to buy it without a mortgage! I had been praying to find a brick house I could buy without having to deal with a mortgage, so I felt very blessed and thankful because that was a very tall order! And right after I talked to the real estate agent for the first time, a woman who had stopped by to admire my yard from time to time over the years rang my doorbell to check on me because she hadn’t seen me outside–and ended up saying she wanted to buy my house! I saw that as God telling me I was on the right path since I didn’t even know the woman’s name—and only God could have her come to my door at that precise moment! She was very persistent and willing to give me more than I thought I’d have to settle for just to get away from here, so we were going to do a lease with option to purchase or a contract for deed, depending on which would work best for both of us. So I made an offer on the new house, knowing it needed some work before moving in, which I expected to be able to afford after selling my house. And since my current mortgage payments would be covered with either a lease or contract, I knew I could get a loan on the house if necessary to make the needed repairs and updates, including fencing the backyard for my dogs and adding a door from the dining room to the backyard so I can let them out as I do here. I anticipated needing about twenty thousand dollars to do the work, so I made an offer on the house that included the sellers (the former owner’s children—it was an estate sell) holding a one year balloon note for ten thousand dollars, which the agent said they were open to doing after discussing it with one of the daughters. But they ultimately decided not to hold the note and countered with a five thousand dollar lower price for all cash, which I accepted. That means I bought it for fifteen thousand dollars less than it appraised for, and even though other offers were coming in!

Then MY plans hit a big speed bump when the real estate agent who sold me the new house told me that I should check the terms of my new mortgage because it might say the balance is due and payable in full if I sell the house with a lease option or contract for deed. Well, she was right, and worse yet, it even says I have to reside in my home for one year before moving, and that I could do neither without their consent! I had no idea mortgages have such outrageous clauses in them nowadays and thought the only important information I needed to verify before signing was the terms since I already knew they say if you don’t pay, you can’t stay. So I’ve sent a request to vacate and sell my house with a lease option or contract for deed, along with documentation of everything I’ve shared here, and I’m waiting to hear from Quicken Loans now. Then on top of that, my potential buyer’s husband has stage four cancer and doesn’t want to take on a kitchen remodel at this time in his life, so they’re going to buy a house down the street, which I fully understand. His wife just loves my yard–especially since I now have over twenty-three citrus trees LOADED with fruit! Her husband’s prognosis isn’t good, so she wants to move closer to her sons (they live in South Florida and her sons live on the other side of my circle). If it was just her, I know she’d buy my house in a heartbeat, but she has to think of her husband now. So even though I’m personally disappointed, I fully support their decision and know GOD must have something else in mind!

Meanwhile, I have a new home that needs work and no way to pay for it, which is why I decided to ask for help. Over the years, the ministry has done a lot to help others in their time of financial need; including buying cars for several single moms so they could work, fully supporting a pregnant mom and her kids through her pregnancy and beyond since she wasn’t getting anything from her husband, paying child support for an unemployed dad, paying for employment license renewals and equipment, buying new glasses for one member’s daughter, paying members’ rent on occasion, helping pay closing costs on another single mother’s new home and so much more, and now I’m the one in need. So if God puts it on your heart to help me move to a place where I’ll be safe and have much more independence in a small town with only seven thousand in population, you can bless and help me by sending whatever God puts on your heart through PayPal at this link, using the email address linda@famfellowship.com. I’d also greatly appreciate your prayers for favor with Quicken Loans and that they’ll give me the consent I’ve requested. Since God tells us we have not because we ask not, I’m asking as needed and know I’ll be blessed beyond anything I could ever think, ask or imagine! It sure is a good thing for all of us that GOD makes a way where there seems to be no way, which I know He will do for me in this situation too. In fact, throughout my life, I’ve often been able to see how GOD turned up the heat to get me to do something I wouldn’t have otherwise been willing or ready to do, and I have a feeling that’s what He did this time as well. So I’m eager to find out what He has planned for me in my new home and will be sure to share it all with all of you! And to those of you who feel led to help me move to safety in my new home, thank you from the bottom of my heart! I’ll be praying for God to bless you ever so abundantly in return, which I also know He will do! So please share my need with anyone you think would help; it’s my hope that as Christians, we can outdo any of the more conventional “crowd funding” options, and I’ll gladly provide documentation to anyone who requests it.

Thank you and God bless you all!
Linda Wattu

One Response

  1. response by Linda Wattu     

    Thankfully, I’m happy to share that I’ve been granted an exception from Quicken Loans to vacate and lease my property since my situation is clearly not a matter of fraud; rather a situation beyond my control. And now I’m praying that after my deposition a couple of days ago, along with two other witnesses, the criminal case regarding the theft of my generator will be resolved in a couple of weeks with a plea deal. I’m also very thankful to report that I’ve received five hundred dollars toward the cost of making the necessary repairs to my new home before moving in, which I’d LOVE to do by the end of the year. As always, God is good and faithful and I’m ever so thankful for His protection and provision and thankful for those He uses to bless and help sustain me and this ministry!

    May you all have a very blessed day as you keep your eyes on Jesus and thank Him for ALL things because you know He has a good purpose in it and will always work it all together for your good as long as you love/obey Him and are living according to HIS purpose/for His praise, honor and glory!

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