One of the largest one time start up needs for any one in our line of ministry is that of building our house. Because of our remote locations, building a simple, yet functional house in a village is a large undertaking, both financially and logistically. So, where are we at with our housing situation? Hopefully we can answer all of your questions below!
As you know, we have joined the Tigak ministry team. We will be living on the same island that we spent the last three months in Papua New Guinea on. In fact, we will be living in the same house that we were living in too! This house was built by former members of the Tigak team, and has sat vacant until now. We lived in this house for our Bush Orientation, along with Aimee, but upon our return Aimee will hopefully be close to finished building her own house.
This existing house is a huge provision for our family. Thankfully, the Lord has provided for Aimee in such a way that she is financially able to build a new house. Because of this fact it was agreed upon that should we join the Tigak team, we would use the existing house. (Side Note: As we speak Aimee and a small work team out on the island have just finished framing her house. In the next couple of months, two work teams will come out from the States to finish building her house)
The house we have “inherited” is about twelve years old and relatively small. The house sits up on posts about four feet off of the ground and has a low tin roof.
Currently the house has two bedrooms, one bathroom, living room, dining room, kitchen and pantry. There is a shed near the front of the house, as well. It has a running water (from a tank that collects the rain water from the roof) and a gas stove. The electrical system is in poor shape. Right now, a few changes have been made to the house for our return. There are also a number of other minor changes that need to be made, and so we will be considering our options for having the work done while we are away.
This house as it stands right now is a great short term provision, with the exception of the electrical situation, which will require immediate modification. We have two options for a long term solution to our housing need: modify the existing house or rebuild.
Before I tell you about the options, a word about our electrical system. Our greatest need at this time is a functioning electrical system. We need to either buy new, or used from a potential missionary in transition (if that happens). Either way, we need money to do this. So far, we have a portion of its total cost, but not near enough for all of it. Please pray with us about this need. If you are interested in giving towards it, please contact us and we can give you more details.
As for our long term options for housing: If we were to modify the existing house, several things would need to happen. First, the posts the house sits on would need to be replaced due to aging. In replacing the posts, we would probably want to raise the house higher than it sits right now. We would also like to add two rooms to the house, considering our future family needs. In this case, one option might be to raise the main portion of the house high enough to place two bedrooms below at ground level. The other option might be to leave the house at a lower height and add rooms to the front or back of the house. We talked about raising the roof and putting the rooms on a second floor above, but it sounds like too much work. The plus side: Overall, this option could be completed in phases over time and might be more affordable. The downside: this option is an investment into an old house and the maintenance on it might not prove to have been more affordable in the long run.
The other option is to rebuild, and use some of the materials from the existing house. We have been told that we may be able to use up to 75% of the existing house towards a rebuild. That may be a generous estimate, but it is helpful to know we can use some of the materials. Obviously, the cost of the rebuild is greater overall. Apart from materials alone, we would need a work team to come out and help build at some point. If we went with this option, our goal for rebuilding would be next summer if the Lord provided financially. The plus side to this option is simple: by rebuilding we are ensuring a quality home for the long term. The downside: It is more expensive up front.
Obviously, there are other factors that play into the equation, but the most important thing we want you to get from this is that although we are not sure at this point what we will do for the long run, we are raising support for this project, and will need this money raised towards either of our options, including our current need for a functional solar electric system. Please contact us for more information, including how to pray and how to give towards this project.
The Lord is fully able to meet the needs for an electric system, modifying the existing house or rebuilding it altogether. We just want to know how He wants us to communicate and plan. We desperately desire to be good stewards of what the Lord has provided and make the wisest choice that will ensure our ability to function well in the village we live in and the people we minister to. Will you pray with us about these details?
Remember, you can stay up to date on our house building project on the PROJECT:HAUS page.