The Crisis in My County

Lee County, Florida is the county of my residence.  It has also been dubbed the “foreclosure capital of the country.”  I came here in summer of 2008 never having heard or seen a foreclosure in my life to now seeing front yards either looking like a jungle or a yard sale put on the banks who now own a large percentage of the homes here.  Instead of tourists take cruises on the beach strip, banks had started their own tours for investors to see all the foreclosed homes in our county.  Our first attempt at buying a home was a short-sale, and after two months of waiting for banks to approve the loan, we gave up.  We eventually found a home by a builder who had 125 completely finished homes at that time with no buyer and provided us with a master key to pick a house in the area at a discount of $100,000 their builder price.

My family lives on a street where there are 17 homes.  14 of those homes have been foreclosed upon since we moved in July 2008.  Several of the homes that haven’t have more than one family unit living in them because of unemployment and inability to pay the high mortgage.  The home I purchase at $100,000 off in 2008 is now worth 33% of the value that it was built for in 2007.

Along with all the foreclosures, the high level of unemployment and the report of our county being the worst performing job market in the US makes for very though times to say the least–so tough that the fire chief and policeman have asked for prayer support from pastors because of their fellow servicemen encountered so many suicides by people who have simply given up on “the good life” in “paradise.”

Dreams For Sale has put together a documentary that explains much of what has happened here.  I realize that many of you folk may not be interested in these videos, but they give a good picture of what is going on not only here but across our country as a whole.  Lehigh Acres, the city of their focus, is the location of our recent church plant.  Shawn Bergen, who pastors in Lehigh, spent almost a year making 12 offers on houses above the asking price to finally purchase a home due to deep-pocket cash investors.

In spite of all this, God has done some amazing things here, and we believe even greater days of gospel advance lie ahead.  The only hope this world has in good times and bad is in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and in the midst of such loss, despair, and disillusionment, I pray that God will see fit to turn eyes and hearts away from worldly pursuits and find the eternal treasures in knowing Jesus Christ!  If you think of it, please join me in this prayer.

Here are the videos:

[1/3 Dreams for Sale]

[2/3 Dreams for Sale]

[3/3 Dreams for Sale]

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One Comment on “The Crisis in My County”

  1. Alan Paul Says:

    Sad. I have often though wondered if this severe economic time we are slowly trudging through will change any of our attitudes about the value we place on things (houses, the “American Dream”, etc.) vs. the value we place on what’s really important – God, family, friends, etc. I hope we do. The cynical side of me says we won’t though…


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