A Christian charitable organisation in Clogher is certainly testament to the fact that God works in mysterious ways.
The group recently received a generous donation to allow them to purchase a neighbouring pub and expand their premises.
The former Bogue’s Bar on Main Street has recently been purchased by the ‘Hope 4 U Foundation’ following a donation of over £150,000. The charity already own the adjoining former Courthouse.
Not only did the donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, pay the full purchase price for the property, they also donated extra funds to cover the conveyancing costs.
Hope 4 U was constituted five years ago with the aim of serving the community of the Clogher Valley.
Len and Joyce Keys left their employment and opened the renovated Courthouse in November 2013, incorporating a cafe in the original courtroom.
Other services include free food for families in times of crisis, and they offer free courses as well as pastoral care and counselling for those struggling with life issues such as depression, grief, addictions, relationship problems etc.
Having viewed the premises when it came on the market last year, Len and Joyce felt it could be used to greatly complement the work of Hope 4 U, but as a group of trustees they decided not take it any further at that stage as they didn’t have the funds, but felt, “If God wanted them to have the premises, he would provide the funds.”
About six months later Len received an “unsolicited phone call” from someone who isn’t local, but was aware of the pub being for sale and is sympathetic to the work Hope 4 U seek to do.
The generous benefactor told Len, “If you believe God wants you to use this building you go ahead and buy it, and when the time comes to pay for it, let me know.”
Having now taken ownership of the former public house, Len said the trustees are excited about what else God has planned for the new building.
Len said, “The sale is now complete and plans are already underway as to how the two adjacent buildings can be integrated in the most practical and cost effective manner.
“The trustees plan to utilise at least some of the space to provide additional seating for food service ‘on the level’ as a good proportion of the seats in the original courtroom are tiered and not suitable for use for customers with limited mobility or parents with buggies etc.”
He continued, “We acknowledge that not everyone will understand the story of how the pub was acquired, or be willing to attribute it to God, but irrespective of that we know that God provided the funds miraculously and we’ve seen him change lives already through the work of Hope 4 U, so we look forward to the future with confidence.
“Contrary to popular public opinion – God is not dead and he is at work in the Clogher Valley.”