Shortly after our newsletter went out last summer, we encountered several major temptations in the construction of our new monastery church. We were alerted by one of the primary suppliers (with whom we have had a long relationship ourselves) that our general contractor had repeatedly failed to pay for materials delivered to our jobsite. We tried repeatedly to work with the general contractor to rectify the matter, but they refused to either pay the debt they owed or to proceed with any further work for us, instead demanding that we ourselves pay them another large installment first. Given that we had already paid a huge deposit for substantially more work than had actually been performed, we refused to do so until they furnished receipts proving that they had properly spent the money we initially paid. They were completely unable to do so, and so we were reluctantly forced to terminate the contract.
They immediately hired a lawyer to send us a letter alleging improper termination and demanding a huge sum of money from us in damages. We retained our own counsel, and in the process of investigating the case learned that there were numerous other suppliers and subcontractors our general contractor had failed to pay, forcing us to pay out over $70,000 to them in addition to what we had already given to the general contractor himself. At the advice of counsel we hired an expert independent assessor, who determined that our former contractor owes us a total of approximately $280,000. Because these funds came not only from our own savings but also from the generosity of many benefactors, we feel that we must pursue the recovery of these funds by the legal means available to us, and we have been actively pursuing this ever since.
In the meantime, we have engaged the services of a reputable local firm (highly recommended by many pillars of the community) to take over the job. We have been very pleased with their work and expertise thus far. Unfortunately, in the process of analyzing the current site they discovered (and independently verified) that several of the walls were built improperly and had to be torn down and rebuilt. We are attempting to make a claim on our former contractor’s insurance to cover the cost of this remediation, but it is still unclear whether they will approve the claim. Regardless, the new contractor has been working for the past several months (as weather permits) to complete the foundation work and remediate the faulty construction of the outer walls. We hope to see rapid progress once spring brings better working conditions, God willing!
Obviously this situation has been very painful and difficult for everyone, and it is quite clear that the enemy of our salvation absolutely does not want this church to be built. Nevertheless we know without doubt that God’s providence is governing everything, and we have firm faith that He Himself will arrange everything in the best way possible for our salvation and for the spiritual benefit of everyone involved. We are very thankful that the financial misdoings were discovered when they were, especially since also finding out that the entire church would otherwise have been built improperly had things continued. We extend our sincerest apologies for this situation to all our benefactors and supporters, and we fervently ask for everyone’s continued prayers for wisdom and divine aid in bringing this much-needed new temple to completion. Glory to God for all things!