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