While the legacy and effects of what God has done through Matryoshka Haus over the past couple of years continues to live on, it is moving full speed ahead into a new future. The MH crew has had a real sense for a while now that it is time to start searching for a tangible home, or ‘hub’ as some might say for Matryoshka Haus. Among other things, the search for that hub was really kicked into high gear around the time I arrived in London in August. The aim has been to find a building that in addition to being a sort of ‘headquarters’ for the organization, is equipped to serve as a work space, a place by which to provide hospitality for all of the people involved with, or interested in being involved with MH projects, and if the size allows, possibly a building where separate flats could be leased to others which would in turn generate some income by which to keep the building running.
Furthermore, there has been an intentional focus on choosing a house for the haus that is in some way in need of repair and restoration – something that MH would have to transform from old to new again, from ‘messy’ to ‘clean’. If you are thinking that sounds like it is loaded with some symbolism you are not mistaken. This is what our Father in heaven has done with us through Jesus Christ; He has taken our messy selves and made us clean and new again by the sacrifice of His one and only Son and His immense grace. In addition to Mathryoshka Haus’ wholehearted belief in this truth, MH is also a group of individuals who want to dive into and embrace the messiness of each other’s lives and through love and community help to bring the light of Jesus into that mess. Something that is largely characteristic of Matryoshka Haus is the way by which it jumps into projects, rolls up its sleeves and does the work itself with others, thereby building more relationships and community. MH intends the building project – where ever and whenever it takes place – to be this kind of project that they are fully involved and engaged with. Unless the building is not a ‘fixer-upper’ this involvement, engagement, creative input, and community cannot take place.
The quest for a, ‘house for the haus’ has been eventful if nothing else, and as of right now we hope we are close to the end of that interesting journey, and have found what could possibly be the building that God intends to be the first for Matryoshka Haus. It is an old building owned by the Church of England that was once used as a place of refuge and restoration for women exiting prostitution in London. If that is the case, there will hopefully be enough man-power and funds to get working on the house sooner rather than later!! It is not nearly as derelict as the two potential buildings by which it was preceded , however it still needs some work and ‘freshening up.’ It sits behind a Church of England school literally at the end of a road entitled ‘Graces Alley,’ and also happens to be situated next door to Wilton’s within which the conversation about needing a ‘house for the haus’ began. Coincidence? Not a chance. What is even more intriguing – Shannon and Andy earnestly inquired about this very building a couple of years back with no response. It was miraculously only out of a meeting with the Church of England about another old church building MH was interested in that the conversation about the current ‘Graces Alley’ building began. What an amazing example of how God uses our circumstances for His good, and how His timing is the most perfect of all!! Matryoshka Haus is thrilled by this bountiful blessing God has provided, while at the same time aware of, and eager to begin the work that lies ahead to make it inhabitable!!