By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
The following are excerpts from a letter Eugene Fontenot and his wife, Reina, distributed to visitors who toured their home in Spring when it was included on the 1992 "Symphony of Homes" tour sponsored by the north area chapter of the Houston Symphony League. "Many people say this house reminds them of a church, and that's what we intended," Reina Fontenot was quoted as saying in a Houston Chronicle article about the home tour. Apparently in the Fontenots' world, the virtuous are blessed with fine furnishings and other leavings of Mammon, and perhaps a seat in Congress, too.
"Welcome to our blessed home. From the very moment that you open the door and behold the beauty of every treasure that we have collected from different parts of the world, we pray that it will bless and minister God's presence of love to you.
"I would like to share with you how this unique and magnificent house came about. It began one day when my husband said, 'You know Reina, one day we are going to build a big, beautiful house.' To tell you the truth, I was quite satisfied with the one we owned, but as I prayed and began to accept my husband's dream, I found it very pleasing to me.
"As we took several pleasure trips around the world, the Lord God would put it into our hearts to buy certain pieces of furniture for our future house. Our favorite place was Italy, where we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the handcrafted furniture and their architecture. In China we acquired very good buys. My husband said, 'Okay, we are here in Hong Kong, so buy all the Oriental rugs you'll need for our dream house.' I prayed to God for direction, and bought the most beautiful floral rugs that I'd ever seen.
" ... Moving into the house was a very exciting time. As we opened the crates of furniture after five years of storage, it was like opening presents at Christmas. As we placed each beautiful piece of furniture into the different rooms, they brought back special memories.
"Living happily ever after in our dream house, we thank God for His love, grace, wisdom and great provision, for He gave it to us and we, in gratitude, give it back to him for his use and glory.
" ... The same way you have entered our private home ... we pray that you will open the door of your heart to Jesus .... The way to receive Jesus is by opening your heart and praying: 'Dear heavenly father, I sincerely repent from my sins .... I acknowledge Jesus is the son of God, was crucified, died and buried, and on the third day, triumphantly resurrected ....'
"Joyfully serving Jesus, The Fontenots.