We used to joke about how small our house was. “Oh, we’d have you stay over but with just eleven hundred square feet…you know.” People would ask us how we did it. “Four kids in that little place, my goodness you must be so patient.” The truth is, it was our five year/two kid house. The plan was to “upgrade” once we needed more bedrooms but our “five year house” became our home for eight years and through the addition of three more kiddos.
After we sold our “little five year home” we moved in to an apartment attached to the home of some family friends. It was four hundred square feet. We called it our step down home and the kids took to it very quickly. With the slides out a 31ft motor-home is between 250 and 300 square feet so this apartment was a huge blessing and an amazing opportunity to transition; and was there ever transition. Our kids slept on a mattresses on the floor in one area of the apartment and our bed was in the same big room, just around the corner. It was a great opportunity to “try out” this small home living thing. Even cooler was that when we finally got the RV each kid got their own space and it made the move from a bigger apartment to a smaller motorhome that much bigger of a deal.
As for RV shopping, we didn’t really know what we were doing, we just knew what we wanted. When you have your sights set on one particular model you have to search the whole country to track one down. That’s exactly what we did. We scoured the internet looking for a Jayco Greyhawk 31fs. We found five and one of them came with a tow dolly that could pull our van. Boom! We had found the first choice. We just needed the money. We knew we would be financing, it was basically replacing our mortgage payment. We also knew, however, that a downpayment is completely necessary for a purchase like this. We reached out through a site called WhyBlessMe.com and were blessed by a number of people who gave. Then a large blessing came from some circumstances that many would consider unfortunate.
As missionaries with the Assemblies of God we have to raise a budget. This is our full income and ministry expense budget and is completely dependant on the generosity of those who partner with us financially. We had a one year deadline to raise 60% of our budget but we were only at 47% or so when the deadline came. We were given the choice to step down as missionaries and do our ministry as an unaffiliated non-profit or become “Missionary Associates” which includes having a supervisor and some restrictions on fundraising. Well, long story short, (too late?) we chose to become MAs. That decision opened up some funds that were in our missions account to pay a large amount of back salary that we hadn’t received during fundraising. This was exactly what we needed to complete the downpayment on an RV. The time had come to negotiate the purchase of our new home.
Tomorrow…wheeling, dealing, buying, and unexpected repairs…