Testimony of Dojo Reopening

Testimony of God's Hand in Reopening the Dojo During COVID 2020

I hope this finds you all well. First I want to thank all of you who have supported the Dojo (ministry) by your prayers and financial support through a dark time and those of you who still are. If not for you we would not be able to continue on here at Kent Plaza. Let me put it another way, you have been used by our Lord to keep us in this place.

The Lord did answer all our prayers in a way I did not expect. You might say the owners of Kent Plaza had a change of heart which was option #4. They always played hard ball and barely gave an inch, especially the last couple of years. We needed them to work with us in order to survive. The basic story is this: we were forced to close March 20. I sent instruction videos via test from then to the end of June. At this time I talked with Mayor who is the rep for Kent Plaza. He wanted to know where we stand and wanted possible back rent and to see if I happened to get any grants. He even asked how my other business was doing. I guess he wanted to know if I would be able to pay up. Our lease was up June 14 so we owed them two and a half months rent. Being self employed with no employees I did not qualify for any grants. Thanks to many of you who kept sending in your payments we were able to pay all our other bills for the Dojo and had some left to cover some shortfall moving forward as of June 30th.

Also before the forced closing I was talking with owners from a karate school in Jackson about them moving in with us, using our place 2 nights a week. They wanted to downsize. Renshi Jim and I met with them and we clicked with them instantly, and we thought it might be a ministry opportunity. They wanted to start in September. This would also help us with the rent. It has been a struggle before COVID-19.

As of June 30, in my mind to move forward, not knowing who would be coming back and when, I was not sure what to do at this point. So I told Mayor, "I had no idea what things would look like moving forward. I started classes in the parking lot. They would have to forgive past rent and for July and August I can only promise half rent and if more came in I would send it to them but they would have to trust me. And to see if the other school was going to join us in Sept."

Then around the second week in July we were allowed to move back in, and started setting up for it. After the first class indoors I got notice to stop and be out by Friday. I think that was the 17th. And they would take the security deposit and apply it to past due rent. Remember the email I sent of the closing and the 4 options we had.

At this point I still did not know what to do. I felt that we should stay but I was too personally invested. I could not trust what I felt. I also felt, whatever I said to the owners, they would push back. As it came down to the wire my prayer was, "Lord, put us in the place where Your Name will be glorified the most." Then, speaking with Paul Cornman, he encouraged me to pray and make an offer that I can live with. The Lord used Paul to give me direction.

At the last hour, I texted a proposal to Mayor. Quote: Write up a new Proposal Form from July 1st 2020 to June 30th 2021. But you must keep the rent the same, and you must forgive all past rent for me to stay." Mayor responded that they would probably want to take our security toward back rent. I figured they will take anyway so I responded, "Ok, but tell them not to charge me for a new security and again tell them not to raise my rent." I expected them to push back. If they didn't I would expect it as coming from God's hand. They accepted it as per my request. So this will be the place we continue to serve our Lord for the next year, so now let us pray for direction as we move forward. And seek Him in how we can best bring glory to His Name.


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