Robin Ulbredtch

Living in an apartment can be a real challenge. Many times there are circumstances brought about by landlords and neighbors that cannot be changed by the individual(s) living in that place. Since people cannot change other people or several circumstances, the problems of life can appear to be giants and cause great distress. This became apparent when a friend and brother-in-Christ began telling us about his situation at his apartment complex.

Our friend was renting an upstairs, one-bedroom apartment where he lived for about twelve years. However, a couple of years ago a man who was also related to our friend’s landlord, moved into the apartment next door to our friend. Air vents, which looked somewhat like dryer vents, were connecting the apartments to help provide more airflow in the rooms. However, these air vents picked up every little sound made and the sound waves carried it to the neighbor’s apartment. As a result, if our friend turned a page in a book or if he rolled over in bed and the box springs squeezed, this new neighbor would pound on the apartment walls and begin hollering. This became a continual problem, oppressing our friend so much that he couldn’t move about, even quietly, to do what was needed in his own apartment.

A few other renters commented that they were either searching for other places to live or were moving out already. Someone mentioned the possibility of persecution of Christians but I don’t know if this is really the case.

With multiple health issues of our own, my husband, Steve, and I worked to help our friend and brother-in-Christ move into a bedroom in our home. We began, with help from our Pastor and a friend, clearing out and moving items in our home to free up a room for our friend and to get rid of clutter. This project took a few months and will continue on even after our friend is moved in.

As we helped our friend pack up and move his belongings, I noticed a strong smell of tobacco, possibly even pot, permeated the air in the hallway and my friend’s apartment–though my friend does not smoke. I prayed that God would help me so that the smoke would not trigger an asthma attack and result in breathing problems and coughing for months. I don’t know how my friend could stand breathing in that bad air for so long.

We are getting near the end of this moving task. Only a few large items remain to be moved. Our friend had lined up some people from his church to come and move the larger items on Tuesday. Lord willing, our friend will be moved before the end of October.

During this transition period, we have faced some challenges. The doorknob on our friend’s room will not latch and our dog, Roxy, keeps going in his room. She is still a puppy who likes to chew on things. She apparently got up on the bed and got one of our friend’s hearing aids. Now we will have to pay for the repair. We will keep the door barricaded until Monday when someone is coming over to fix the door knob. We may also have to fix an electric heater in my friend’s room. In spite of the challenges, I thank the Lord that we could make room for our friend in our home and get him out of that dreadful, apartment-living situation.

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