For a long time (about a year) in the life of our family we have not been able to say we were going “home.” First it was, “We are going back to Grampa and Grammas house”, then it was “Time to go back to Uncle Russ & Aunt Debi’s house,” then there were assorted hotels and visiting different friends and relatives sprinkled in and then it was back to Grampa and Gramma’s house again. Naturally we are very thankful for every place were blessed to stay at over our Home assignment time and big transition time but there is just something about having a place to call “Home.”
Not only a place to stay, our home is something we can use as an extension of ourselves to hopefully bless others. I so look forward to being able to have people over and enjoy fellowship with people we care about.
As soon as we arrived in Mexico the idea of finding our “home” was distractingly at the top of our to-do list! Interestingly, this move to Mexico was the first time in our married lives that we would have the chance to choose where we would live! It seemed so strange to us that we would actually have a say in what house we would have and be able to look at different possibilities and make a choice! Wow! The Lord allowed us to make a new friend quickly who knew the area well and was wonderfully willing to help us go house hunting. Our new friend was so helpful and we spent almost a week looking at house after house and making endless amounts of phone calls!
After looking at many options there was one house that rose to the top of the list as one that seemed like what we were looking for. We didn’t want to make the decision too hastily so we looked at a few more options but after seeing them our decision was obvious-we still wanted the other house that we liked before.
One blessing that the Lord gave us was to have new Mexican friends who were willing to be advocates for us and help us in areas where we would have been completely stuck with out them! Aside from the major area of basic communication and all the paperwork, one of those areas was helping us inspect the house and record existing damage. They were so great when we did the walk through at the house! I felt such relief knowing that they had our backs and wanted to make sure we were not getting bamboozled by anything super wrong with the house. 🙂
They both looked carefully at everything with us and we made note of every cracked tile, broken drawer, leaking faucets and toilets as well as major stuff like the water heater and propane tank etc. At one point I had to smile when one of them propped a rickety ladder up against the cinder black wall in the back and got on the roof! He wanted to make sure that the houses “swamp cooler” system on the roof was in working order. It’s a good thing he checked because it was not! There were several major parts missing that needed repair. So yes, having new friends and advocates was a huge praise for us as we began the process of moving into the house.
After some of the repairs were done and many papers had been signed, we got the green light to start moving in! YESSSSSSSSS! We were so thrilled! The time was ticking away in our heads because Christmas was almost upon us and right after that Jude would be starting school and we would be starting our language classes! We wanted to be as settled as possible before that time came so we got moving on moving! 🙂
We had a few days of warmer weather during the days which was helpful as we moved but then it got really cold for a while and I’m not gonna lie-it was pretty brutal on us.
Every place people live on this planet has learning curves and new challenges to over come and for us, moving to Mexico has had no exceptions. Tile is very hard and ALWAYS cold. Every window in our house is like a sieve and when you get near them you can feel cold air just pouring in like it was open or something. As far as we know, there is no such thing as double layered “insulated” glass here. It is one pane and sometimes even louvered which makes keeping cold out nearly impossible.
To make things even “colder” our water heater had lots of issues at first and we couldn’t take warm showers. So each day we were all very cold (living in coats and multiple layers inside our house) my feet and legs would cramp from cold and since we couldn’t take showers we were getting stinkier by the day. I would go to sleep under our heated blankets (ever since moving to Mexico in the winter heated blankets are my favorite thing! Life saver!) asking God how we would ever learn to survive like this let alone thrive. Thankfully the Lord is graciously used to my drama and complaining and gave grace when needed! 🙂
Mercifully the Lord allowed us to make progress in different areas in the house little by little just as it got close to being too hard. We were blown away and super thankful when some of our supporters purchased an indoor wood stove for us! After the stove finally got to us here we enlisted the expertise of some new friends to help us install it properly. We got permission from the lady who owns the house to put a hole in the wall for the chimney pipe but she was very clear that the hole must be done right! ;D Thankfully a fellow missionary and Tom were able to make a “beautiful” hole through the concrete, brick and plaster wall! It was perfect! Ironically we had a few warm days as soon as the stove was installed but that just gave us time to stock up on fire wood (and the kids were so excited to help!).
Progress continued at a steady pace from Christmas and into the new year. Some other fellow missionaries, including our brother-in-law Don, and one of our Mexican friends helped us do some painting inside the house (which was amazing), Tom was finally able to repair a major leak in our propane tank that had caused us so much trouble and I even started getting some family pictures up on the wall! Now that we have started language study and school is in full swing, the days of focusing on house fix up’s have to be behind us and we must reserve the necessary projects that still loom for the weekends (for many months to come!).
Our house is feeling more and more like our home every week that goes by though and we are so deeply thankful to the Lord for allowing us to get settled in a timely way so that we can more fully embrace our new life and ministry here!
Here are a few pictures from Christmas and some delightful ways our house has enjoyed being our new HOME.
We were blessed by so many family members sending gifts! It was a treat!
Phone calls to family 🙂