If Money Wasn't a Problem, What Would You Do?
By Mark Harris 11-12-2021
Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting so many fascinating and gifted people in our city. It is not uncommon, when listening to their stories, for them to share their feelings of powerlessness in using their lives to make positive change. I genuinely love hanging out with people who want to use their lives to make the world a better place. It energizes me to hear about their “Big Dream.” It gives me great joy to help them achieve their dreams. Sometimes I am only able to encourage them to take the next step. At other times God opens the door for me to help in significant ways.
Such was the case with the Casa Santa Clara project. I met Nick Jones at a Good Friday Breakfast over 20 years ago. We agreed to have lunch together the following week. At some point in the conversation, I asked Nick, “If money wasn’t a problem and you could do anything you wanted to do, what would you do?”
Without hesitation Nick shared his “Big Dream” to help people coming out of prison successfully transition back into society as healthy, productive citizens. He had a plan already laid out in his mind. I agreed to help him implement his plan. Through a lot of planning, preparing and praying, Casa Santa Clara House was opened as a transitional living house for men coming out of prison.
Soon thereafter, I met Larry Munguia. The more I got to know Larry the more it became obvious that he had a great passion to introduce people to the life changing power of Jesus. When I asked Larry what he would do if money wasn’t a problem and he could do anything he wanted to do, he said he wanted to be a preacher of the gospel.
Larry began leading a weekly Bible study at Casa Santa Clara. God moved powerfully as Larry started living out his big dream. Larry was ordained as a preacher and started the Sober Project: a church specifically designed for men and women with addiction backgrounds and often with prison experience. In the first year of Larry’s new church, he saw over 100 people accept Christ and be baptized.
Within a few years, we purchased the Casa Santa Clara house. It was owned by another friend I had met when I moved to Tucson, Harvey Mordka. Harvey was one of those brilliant businessmen who owned a real estate company and was able to creatively help people like me with real estate problems. At a lunch one day, I shared with Harvey that we were having difficulty finding a place to start Nick’s halfway house, Harvey offered to rent to us a property that his family had owned for years. We grew to the point where we were able to purchase the property. It came with five acres of land.
It was about that time that I met Terri Galligan. Terry is a godly man who shared with me his passion for helping people purchase affordable housing. Nick and I asked Terry if he would help us build some affordable housing on the property we had acquired. Terry knew what to do. He helped us come up with a plan and introduced us to a contractor and other people who wanted to use their gifts, talents and influence to maximize the use of the Casa Santa Clara property.
What seemed like a series of random coincidences lead to the development of High Sierra Estates. The friendships that were created became some of my most cherished friendships to this day. It all started by asking; “If you could do anything you wanted to do, and money wasn’t a problem, what would you do?”
Together, Nick, Larry, Terry and Harvey with some seed money from Oasis Church, were able to build 21 single family homes through the Casa Santa Clara project. One Saturday six months ago, I was in the area and decided to see what had happened to the property we developed over 20 years ago. To my delight the houses were well kept and the neighborhood was clean. Children were safely playing the street and riding bikes with their friends. The adults were in the front yards talking with their neighbors. It was very satisfying to see that after all this time, the project was a long-term success.
The result of each of us helping each other fulfill our individual dreams had collectively impacted more people’s lives than any one of us could have imagined.
I believe that God has given each of us a “Big Dream.” In fact, I believe the Bible teaches in Ephesians 2:10 that you were created by God to fulfill the dream He has given you and that you will not be fully satisfied in life until you do it.
The central focus of 4Tucson is to come alongside people like you, who want to fulfill their created purpose. We won’t “do” your dream for you, but when you become a member of 4Tucson, we will help equip you do it. Our Purpose Workshop was created to assist you in discovering how God designed and gifted you to fulfill your “Big Dream.”
So let me ask you that question. “If you could do anything you wanted to do, and money wasn’t a problem, what would you do?”
I have discovered that most people know exactly what they would do. When asked, “Why aren’t you doing that?” it is not uncommon to hear, “It seems impossible to think I could do that!” Nothing is impossible when we decide to follow Jesus and do things His way.
At 4Tucson, we want to help you make a positive difference in the world. We want to introduce you to people who can help you. We want to introduce you to people whom you can help. We want to help you build lifelong friendships. That is what happened to me as I pursued my purpose and I want you to experience that, too.
Imagine what great things God could do through you if you would commit to fulfill your purpose. As it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9