I have felt the Lordâ€™s leading that it would be a good thing to give a status on the ministry as it seems we are at a point of significant change. First, we have never sought to build a ministry and that isnâ€™t our desire even at this point. Our hearts desire is to be servants of Jesus Christ, and we know that begins first in the home as we serve our family. Iâ€™m delighted that is the heart of each child as well. As good as it was to return home yesterday, Jesse said he wished we could have been gone longer. We love our time out as we minister and encourage families.
I have been mostly fulltime with MOTH/Titus2 since last spring. I have had a few Communication Concepts (our family business where Nathan and Christopher work) projects come up, but mostly it has been MOTH/Titus2. What a blessing that has been, and there still is more to do than time permits.
One very big decision we have recently come to is regarding our crisis of space. We have had a small area in the basement where books were stored and shipped from. With every new book, it has become more difficult to manage. Depending on the size of the book and quantity printed, each book may represent one to five pallets of boxes. We built a shed to store books in 2005, but that is now full. In praying through what the Lord would have us to do, I now believe He would have us to build another house.
Christopher is buying our house, and we will take the equity and will build on a lot immediately behind this house. If we do most of the work ourselves, we should be able to build a larger house with a walk-out basement. The basement will still be dual use, but it would allow us the room we need for the books. Our current house has a large enough attic where we could have moved the boys bedrooms to, but it would not structurally support the weight. So the plan is to take roughly the same floor plan, reverse it, and build this new one as a story and a half giving us the extra room we need.
The new house would also have a three car garage so that tools and lawn things could go there instead of the basement and shed where they were before, again to make more useable book room.
The house decision was a long time in coming as we are very content in our current house. However, there are two new books coming, Spring with the Moodys and Just Around the Corner, Vol 2. There is another Just Around the Corner to be compiled, plus one more title on our hearts right now waiting for the Lord to direct. We know there is nowhere else to put these books on a long term basis. If the Lord is directing us to continue and add other titles something would have to be done. It would be easier if we werenâ€™t so content where we are. With Christopher buying this house it then became clear that the Lord was directing, but it has been a very difficult decision indeed.
We know there are many who pray for us, and we are eternally grateful. We have no doubt as to the effects of your prayers. Thank you. This last trip was such an example of answered prayers. We saw how we were able to continue the trip even with the trailer axle problem. I have no explanation for that one other than prayer.
Teriâ€™s and my colds did not prevent us in any of our sessions. Even with hours of speaking, my voice held, though it was weak. We saw how even though we didnâ€™t require our expenses to be met by the hosting groups, God provided for our needs through the love offering basket on our table. Even with gas prices as high as they are and staying in hotels, all of our needs were met.
However, we are at another decision point and we would covet your prayers. We have a real problem with transportation. I am not going to write out all the details and things we have looked at, but summarize so those who are willing would pray (if led to). We have a diesel powered van, which Iâ€™m currently overloading with the weight of the utility trailer we pull. It has the most powerful engine available that can fit in the van. We need at least 9 seats and can use more occasionally. There are no common commercial solutions available to pull the weight we have to transport along with the number of seats we need.
The two solutions we are aware of are either a converted 45 foot bus or a converted semi-tractor. If we choose either of those solutions, the desire would be to live out of it while on the road, saving on hotel and restaurant expenses to offset the higher transportation expenses. The converted semiâ€™s have the power but not the room so we would still end up staying at hotels, but we would have the power to pull whatever we needed to. RVâ€™s usually donâ€™t have the power, number of beds, nor the weight carrying capacity we need.
Converted school buses have the room of a converted semi, but they donâ€™t have the power nor the weight carrying capacity needed. Forty-five foot converted commercial buses have both the power and the room. Very old ones are of reasonable cost but poor reliability; newer ones are very much more costly and can have manageable reliability.
I have laid this all before the Lord, also including as an option of not going on any more MOTH tours. We currently have a long trip scheduled for the fall and are beginning to schedule an even longer trip to the west coast in the 1st quarter of 08. Our out and back homeschool convention trips are not a problem because of being away less time and transporting far less weight. The primary issue before the Lord is the MOTH trips.
Many express their appreciation for us sharing on the blog. It seemed like a good time to give a status of what is going on about the house and also the crossroads we are at regarding the MOTH tours. We are very grateful for your prayers.
Steve and Teri
13 thoughts on “MOTH Ministry Update”
Through our own experiences of making big changes, we know that the Lord will direct your paths when He is asked for counsel. It seems that though you have many issues that need to be dealt with the Lord will take care of your needs. Be patient in waiting for His answer and we are aware of the repoofs that come when not listening to the Lord. God is using you, your family, your situations, and life as a wonderful minstry to others, whether you have chosen that road or not. You have wonderful insight and wisdom that many can benefit from. Continue to pray, they will be answered. God will bless you.
Thank you for sharing all of this! It is such a blessing for us to be able to pray for your family and all that God is doing in you and through you! I am so excited for you and thrilled for ‘where’ you’re at with everything. I know there’s lots of decisions yet and things to consider and walk through, but what excites me is how closely you’re tuned to His voice and to desiring what the Lord alone wants. I just know He has a perfect and complete solution for everything and that in His perfect way and timing, He will reveal it! And, I was just thinking how much it blesses me personally to read of your trust in Him — I can only imagine how much delight it must bring the Lord to know that your desire is to only walk in His will and His way! How much that must bless Him! You will remain in our prayers…
Always look forward to your updates. One thought, and you’ve probably already considered this. What if you shipped part of your stock to your stops along the way? What made me think of this is that I have a friend who is on daily dialysis (that he does at home). When his family goes on vacation, they don’t have room to carry all the dialysis supplies, so they carefully plan their stops and ship packages to the hotels in advance. Then, he picks them up along the way. It has given them such freedom to take trips that they didn’t have before. I know God will give you wisdom and provide a way for your ministry. God Bless!
Georganne, we have done this and that is the interim solution.
Thank you for openly sharing your hearts. We enjoy your blog so much as we are able to pray specifically about the things which you share. As daily give our lives to the Lord to use as He sees fit, He as been ever so faithful to provide just what we need to do what He wants us to do. He is so good!
Daniel and Jaynee and family
Thank you for sharing. Praying the Lord will grant you wisdom in your upcoming decisions. We are truly blessed by your family and the self-control/waiting on the Lord approach you possess in our current “just do it” society.
I’m not sure if this will help or not but I thought I would mention it. In Bethany, MO (about 2 hours from you) there is an auction and they are selling a 1997 Ford F350 15 passenger shuttle bus. I don’t know if this is what you are looking for but I just felt led to tell you about it. God bless.
Thank you Jill. That is in essence what we have, but it isn’t powerful enough, nor can it pull enough weight. That is why there are no normal commercially available solutions.
In Christ Jesus,
I will pray for you all in your decisions
Just a quick suggestion. We have moved to a Dodge Sprinter. If you wait for the 2007’s to come out the Dodge Sprinter will have a V6 engine. Please do a search online and you will see how wonderful these vehicles are. Feel free to email our family as well and I can share pics and more information on our vehicle. Our Sprinter fits 10 passengers all with shoulder seatbelts and headrests. We have the super high roof so we can stand up in it. Sprinters are commonly used for commercial use and have a diesel engine as well! It may be a great option for your family as you travel. We find traveling with our family in our Sprinter to be a wonderful experience. We also pull a trailer.
Â Thank you. I wll check out the specs on them. I expect they won’t handle the weight, but it would be great if they would.
Steve, if you have any connections in the “Sun Belt,” (Arizona), have them watch for a good used motor home (if that is the direction you decide the Lord is leading you in).
There are a lot of seniors down there who buy really nice bus-sized motor homes, and then a few years later sell them at a huge discount when they have to stop driving.
My in-laws sold one a couple of years ago at a fraction of the original price. It took them months and months to sell, because most folks opt for a brand-new one with all the bells and whistles, and attractive financing.
The people of that generation tend to take really good care of their vehicles, so it’s possible you could get a cream puff for a very affordable price.
Just a thought.
Lorri W. in CA
Â Lorri, that is a very good idea. It does need to be a converted 45 ft bus RV and it is true a lot retired people purchase them. It would need a fair amount of converting to sleep 9, but it’s a great place to start.
Â Thank you.
In Christ Jesus, SteveÂ
Hey Steve, I was thinking that you are trying to fit too much function into one vehicle. Why not try one passenger vehicle and one storage vehicle. With a 15 Passenger van and a cargo van diesal on both counts you can convert part of the pak van for sleeping. Highly recommend the Dodge Sprinter on both counts, but that passenger van only holds 10. They have a great warranty program(nationwide) and lots of headroom. Easy to find parking, smooth driving, no special licenses etc. Praying for your ministry; you have blessed us greatly thank you. John
John, I like to dialog so that I’m not chasing a rabit that isn’t the Lord’s direction. Sleeping eight with a shower and w/c won’t fit in anything that small and we would still end up paying for a hotel room. We could go with some form of heavy hauler but still end up with the hotel rooms.
I checked the specs on the Sprinter and even though the HP of the optional engine has almost the same as the Ford, it has way less torque than our current solution and torque is the key. It wouldn’t pull what we take on a short trip, especially out west. I also checked the towing capacity and it isn’t what the our current Ford can tow. It is significantly less.
Thank you. It was a nice try. In Christ Jesus, Steve
Praying for you all, in any case. Your books have been a real blessing to me, despite my not being a homeschool mom. Your schedule is, and has, turned my life around. God’s blessings to you all!
I was wondering if you have looked at any of the diesel pusher RV’s. You have to look quite a bit for one that has two couches, benches at the table and slid outs but sometime RV places can convert ones that don’t have those things but have the space for them. You still will have kids sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags but they can rotate the beds!! Then you could pull a trailer behind you with the books. They should have the power you need but they are a little spendy sometimes. I will be praying the Lord gives you just what you need and in just the right time! Blessings!
We have considered them. In speaking with two people that have owned high end pushers, they weren’t well suited for our type of use, pulling a heavyÂ trailer and the number of beds. One dad felt he almost got his family killed with one because the brakes weren’t as heavy duty as he felt they needed to be. Also, from my research they are designed to be used a few times a year and if used a lot they require quite a bit of maintenance where as the buses are made for constant use. It is also likely that the high end pushers are in the same price range as the used entertainer buses we have looked at. All that said, if the Lord brings one to our attention, it will be evaluated solely on it own merits with the hope it might work. One post suggested looking in the retirement areas of the country for someone who might be willing to sell theirs very inexpensively. That has a lot of merit and could be such an RV as you described. We will continue to pray and wait.
Thank you for your thoughts.
In Christ Jesus, Steve
Dear Maxwell Family,
Have you considered traveling with only a limited number of “table copies” of your books, taking orders and having them shipped? I know that when I’ve visited some homeschooling conferences that a few ministries use this approach (A Beka and Rod & Staff are two that come to mind). I pray that the Lord will lead you and make a way. Two of your books: Managers of Their Homes and Preparing Sons to Provide a Single Family Income have been instrumental in our lives.
It could come to that, but we have found people really do prefer to get the materials right then. It is something to consider. THank you.
In Christ Jesus,
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