Love makes a house a home.
For Loren and Sharon Hildebrant, their love of family has always defined their home, no matter where that has been. Now, after almost a decade of missionary work around the world, they have a new home – a place where they can build new memories with children and grandchildren who live nearby.
Loren has been a pastor near Atlanta, Georgia, for most of his adult life. Eight years ago, he took his first international missions trip to Uganda, and he felt a tug at his heart to shift toward full-time international missions.
“God took me in a different direction in my ministry, and I’ve packed a lifetime of global missions in eight years,” Hildebrant said.
Since going on that first trip in 2011, Hildebrant has logged nearly one million miles traveling the globe as part of his missions work. He has been to Africa 25 times, including villages in Kenya and Uganda. His missions have also included stops in Italy, Kosovo, Israel, Albania, South Korea, Cambodia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, Haiti, Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Peru, Bolivia and the town of Jericho on the West Bank.
The experiences are incredible. His work is impactful. Hildebrant is fulfilling a calling, even though it means traveling overseas, on average, at least once every seven weeks.
The couple recently decided to move their home base from Gainesville, Georgia, to Lawrenceville so they can spend more time with children and grandchildren – and where they can be closer to Hildebrant’s current position as Ministry Director of Global Outreach for 12 Stone Church.
Thanks to a new feature from Regions, the Hildebrants could move forward with their home purchase while still overseas.
The Hildebrants were Regions’ first clients to complete a mortgage using the new online Mortgage Status Portal. Regions is offering the portal to make the mortgage process easier. There’s a real-time application status online, which is also shared via text messages or emails, if the customer prefers. Through the portal, people can also upload documents, track progress and complete other steps.
The Hildebrants worked closely with Dawn Mumpower of Regions Mortgage in Gainesville. While Loren completed the pre-qualification process in Georgia between trips, the additional documentation was uploaded from the missions field in Albania and Kosovo.
“We didn’t have this kind of option when we bought our first house nearly 32 years ago,” Hildebrant said, referencing how he did not need to get physical copies of various documents to the bank and wait for updates.
Instead, he could save time and get instant updates digitally. The portal shows milestones achieved during the mortgage process, as well as the percentage completed toward the loan closing.
“I just checked, and my status says 90 percent completed,” Hildebrant laughed on the day he was scheduled to close.
“It will change to 100 percent completed later today when the seller completes the closing,” Mumpower added. “The portal is updated in real time, so you will know exactly where you are in the process.”
For homebuyers who use Regions Mortgage services, the portal offers greater convenience, clarity and connection to the bank. From application to close, it makes the overall process faster, allows them to see where they stand in the loan process and reduces the potential for errors. Most importantly, it gives customers an easier way to bank, which Hildebrant experienced first-hand as he breezed through the process overseas.
“We worked for many months to launch the Mortgage Status Portal,” said Bob Cabrera, head of Regions Mortgage. “It’s something that we knew customers wanted, and seeing it used like the Hildebrants did reinforces how Regions is changing and adapting to meet the needs of our customers. We’re delighted to be a part of the next step in their lives.”
The Hildebrants will continue serving in missions roles – gaining international and multicultural experiences they never imagined before.
“I saw a cathedral in Capernaum that was likely built over the location of the Apostle Peter’s house, and I was in awe knowing that Jesus would have likely been there hanging out and having conversations in that house,” Loren recalled, referencing a trip to Israel. “When we were on the Sea of Galilee, I realized Jesus would have likely seen the same cliffs and landscape that we were looking at 2,000 years later.”
Most recently, their travels took them to Peru to deliver Operation Christmas Child boxes with Samaritan’s Purse. Shortly after returning, the couple closed on their new home. To celebrate, they had a small housewarming with their close friends and family.
“This is where God has put me,” Hildebrant concluded. “I couldn’t be more blessed.”