Kory Slaatthaug and his wife Mickey own an apartment building in Seattle, Washington.
They are also devoted Christians, and Kory is especially bold about his faith.
In fact, his car is adorned with a giant four-foot Bible, so people know (or can at least assume) that he’s a Christian wherever he goes.
Though Kory is very public about his beliefs, he wanted to do something more personal and impactful to communicate his faith while also helping his tenants.
The inspiration for his big idea goes back many years in Kory’s life.
His dad moved their family from Norway to the United States in the 1950s and invested his energy and time into a career spent working on buildings.
He passed away from a heart attack 50 years ago just before completing the work on an apartment building and Kory began working as a carpenter in order to make sure the work on the building was completed.
After his mom passed away, Kory purchased the building in order to honor what his dad had started, and he and Mickey became the landlords.
The 50-year anniversary of owning the permit for the building was important to Kory, and he made a connection to his situation after reflecting on a particular passage of Scripture.
Although he recognized that not all of the Old Testament rules apply in the same way in today’s world, he was impacted by the concept of Jubilee.
In Leviticus 25, starting in verse 10, God explains to Moses about the importance of the 50th year (known as the year of Jubilee) to the Israelites. Verse 17 reads: “Do not take advantage of each other, but fear your God. I am the Lord your God.”
This section of Scripture also discusses the idea of forgiving debts and setting slaves free. Verse 35 reads, “If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.”
As Kory and his wife thought more about the concept of Jubilee, they made a big, bold decision — they decided they were going to give their tenants free rent for the month of November.
Kory felt that this gesture could both pay tribute to his father’s hard work and dedication and show honor to God by following a biblical concept and showing love to others.
In order to be able to do this, Kory and Mickey have been saving money for months, since they will be missing around $15,000 from the November rent payments.
Kory and Mickey left a letter under each of their tenant’s doors to explain both what they were choosing to do and the inspiration behind it.
The letter also took the opportunity to briefly explain the idea of tithing and why that was a part of their lives.
However, instead of asking people who may not be believers to tithe, they encouraged their tenants to give their extra money from the month of November to charity or to an individual who might need it.
They even ended the letter with an invitation for anyone who had questions about Kory and Mickey’s Christian faith to feel free to approach them.
Needless to say, the residents were genuinely appreciative and pleasantly surprised by this unexpected month of free rent.
One tenant acknowledged that this act of generosity helped him to see faith in a different and better way than the way in which it’s often presented.
Such a kind act obviously caused a reaction, and the news of this generosity spread beyond their building. One resident even took a picture of the letter and posted it to Reddit, where it began to make its way around the Internet. Kory and Mickey were even written about and interviewed for several news publications.
A story like this can be a great reminder of the generosity of God and the grace and love He provides so freely. Especially at this time of year, it’s a wonderful gift to be able to step back and see how much we have to be thankful for.
These tenants are getting an opportunity to experience a completely unexpected blessing due to the generosity of their landlords.
Hopefully the explanation from their landlords about the biblical motivation for this gesture will give the tenants a greater glimpse into the generous heart of God, and will cause them to want to seek even more to understand who He really is.
You can read the letter for yourself by clicking here.