By Faith


We did experience an earthquake at 10:50 last night.  It was strong enough to wake me, and long enough for us to carry all of the girls outside.  We are blessed to live in a house with a solid foundation, but I immediately think about those families living in tin houses.
As we answered God’s call to move to Guatemala we knew that one of the biggest needs for our family would be a vehicle.  We needed a vehicle that was reliable and one that wold seat our family of five plus one or two more.  Now, we thinking US standards and not the Guatemalan way where they can seemingly put twenty people in a Volkswagon bug.
So, we began to budget funds to purchase a vehicle once we arrived in Guatemala.  We had sent a Honda CRV down a few years ago but it only seats five folks.  This has been our vehicle since our arrival in June.  It only seats five and we almost always have an extra person or two with us when we travel.
My dad told us to figure on seven to ten thousand dollars to find a reliable vehicle.  Really dad?  We quickly realized two things – we were not going to find a vehicle for that amount and that any vehicle purchased in Guatemala would most likely have a odometer that was way incorrect and had been involved in a serious accident.
While my dad was in Michigan to attend the celebration of life service for Mark Mast’s father he rode with Tom & Shari Compagner in their Honda Pilot.  Eight seats.  SUV type vehicle.  He asked if they would like to donate that vehicle to SLAM but Tom is Dutch so that conversation ended real quickly.
Long story short – my dad did an online search once he got home and found a 2011 Honda Pilot at Mullinax Ford in Mobile.  It only had seventy five thousand miles on it.  Very clean.  Odometer was correct, had never been in an accident, a one owner vehicle, four wheel drive.  Perfect!  One problem – the price was $19,500.  Add taxes in the States, taxes in Guatemala and the charge for getting it to Guatemala  and that price increased to around $24,000 which is slightly more than the seven thousand dollars my dad told us to budget!  (How could my dad be so wrong?  Wait, do you know my dad?).
The online search was done on Wednesday, July 5, my mom stopped by the dealership on Saturday, July 8, and we paid a deposit over the phone on Monday, July 10.  My parents made the actual purchase on Saturday, July 15, and the Pilot was driven off the lot on Monday, July 17.
We could stretch our budget and come up with twelve thousand dollars.  So, we only needed to borrow twelve thousand dollars and all was good.  Plus, we had to get the Pilot to Guatemala.  (Life would have been so much simpler if Tom was not Dutch – just saying!  LOL!). We were operating by faith!
This entry to be continued on Monday, 9/11!

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