Every once in a while we have a big need in our life we can't meet no matter how much we want to, or try. Usually, it is for equipment for Antonio. It usually is something that cost a few thousand dollars. We are average people, living an average life. Tim is the manager of our local Chick-Fil-A and I am a stay at home mom. We live modestly and all our income is funneled into caring for, providing for and raising the family God has given us.
We rarely eat out. We do inexpensive, special things as a family. I don't buy the newest latest fashion in anything. We use everything from clothing to items, till they are plum worn out. What we don't need and is still good, we give to others. God freely provides for us, we freely give to others. I don't buy and wear make-up. I don't buy jewelery. I cut most of the children's hair. Tim and I...we rarely buy new clothing. Most of our clothing we have owned for many years and was bought from thrift stores. We are careful with our budget because we have to be. We never know when we are going to have a surprise hospital stay or surgery for one of the children and that could eat what we have left for a month and sink us financially. We have to try to be prepared for the unexpected because our life is just one big unexpected event after another. God provides time and time again. He sends wonderfully, kind, people along, that feel led to donate gently used clothing to us, in just the right sizes we need for the children. People share from their gardens with us. We live very blessed and happy but simple lives. It does not take a lot to make us happy because we have lived the extreme of serious times and know the full meaning of a good day.
When we have one of these large needs come up, we usually just share the need with a few people, so they can keep it in prayer...we pray fervently about it and in Gods time and in Gods way, things come together and God provides mightily, amazingly and abundantly. He is always faithful. He is always with us.
This blog has been a blessing to me. It is an outlet for me to share my heart and life with family and friends around the world. I have met some amazing people thru this blog. Made some great friends. I needed that. I have been blessed every day by this blog. God has used many of you to regularly encourage me. Often when I am having a hard day, God will impress upon someone to send me a message and it is just what I needed, to feel encouraged and get thru the day, without staying discouraged. I have had people write to me, to have me join in prayer with them, for huge things in their lives. In return, I have shared things with them we also needed extra support in prayer for. It has been a huge honor. God is so good. People have been extremely kind.
Today, I am going to share with you our vehicle situation. The van we have now has served us well for many, many years. God brought it to our attention, when we were in just the situation we are in now. It was just what we needed when we needed it.
We had stopped doing foster care and had moved into a small handicap mini van. We used that van for a year or so and then Antonio got a new wheel chair. It was larger than the one that fit in the mini van. So we had to literally pick him up, in his wheel chair, to get him into position and facing the right way. Tim, William and I, at one time or another, threw our back out, getting Antonio in or out of that mini van. We were in desperate need of a bigger handicap van.
I was daily praying and searching the internet for larger, affordable, handicap vehicles and one day, when I checked, there was the large grey van. A man had just listed it. It was in great condition and for a fair price. I called immediately and he answered the phone on the first try. I said I was calling about the grey van...he interrupted me, stopped me short and said..."Do you have a handicap child this is for?"...I was taken aback by his interrupting me and stammered out yes. He said, "Than you can have it for less than what it is listed for." I was not even going to ask him to lower the price. I told him it was a very fair price. He proceeded to tell me that everyone that was calling him about it, wanted to tear out the lift and make it into a cargo van. He said..."That lift was put in for my daughter and she just passed away and I want it used for a child who needs it." We talked awhile about his daughter and I made arrangements to make the three hour drive, with my dad, down to see it. It was such a fair price, Tim and I, at that time, were able to get a loan from the bank with payments we could afford. It is the nicest large vehicle we have ever owned. It has never broke down or left me stranded, like our other run down buses and vans, we could afford, in the past. This truly was a blessing from God and has been for all these years.
Antonio just got his new adult wheel chair. It is just what he needed. It took a long time and a fight with insurance to get. Antonio is going to be 20 this year, so this is the size chair he will need the rest of his life. The down side is... it does not fit safely in our current van. The van we have now works very well for a small child and their small wheelchair because it only has a small place for a wheel chair. The man that we bought the van from, had a large family and he had the lift put in himself, as a solution to his need. He did not have the roof raise or the floor lowered for adult head room. Sadly, his daughter was terminal and they knew it, so did what they needed for their daughter. They put in the lift. They also didn't remove the seat ahead of the wheel chair position (like it is normally done) because he had children he needed that extra seating for.
But... with Antonio's new chair, it has been a struggle. I can not get him in and out of the van myself. I have to have adult help (Tim or William) and then one small child to hook the straps. If they are not with me, I can not get Antonio anywhere alone anymore. It takes two adults because we are back to lifting his chair, to shimmy it in.
There is a jump seat next to where Antonio's chair goes, that we need to use when Tim is home and with us. We used to be able to fold that down. We still can but have to lift Antonio, in his chair, over, so it will have room to drop down. A very difficult and unsafe feat. He weighs 120 pounds plus his heavy wheel chair.
That's what we are facing right now to load and unload Antonio. I am trying not to take him anywhere unless I absolutely have to because even though we can make him fit, it is not the safest or best for him. Also, we are harming our bodies trying to lift and shift his chair around and shaking his new chair around a lot trying to get it to fit, which could bend or break his new chair over time.
|We got him in! Thanks guys!|
We have been looking at used mini buses. To get one with air conditioning and that will be reliable for me and the children, they cost about $30,000-$35,000. Our bank said they would give us a loan but because the ones we have found, in that price range, are older and have miles on them, they would only loan for two years. Our monthly payment would be around 800 dollars a month. We just don't have that. Tim and I prayed about it and started a Gofundme account. Our neighbor asked the local paper to do an article on us and last Wednesday, there was a very nice article put in about Antonio and our family. It was very kind of our neighbor. We found a place that had a good used mini bus in North Carolina that said they would give us $7000. trade in on our current van. So that would help a lot in coming up with what we need. Also, I feel good about it as they sell handicap vehicles and I know they will sell our grey van to a family that needs the lift, for someone in their family. So it will still be used as the original father/owner wanted.
Please keep us in your prayers. God is so good and His provision and timing are always perfect.
May God bless you and meet your needs daily...as He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine...May He be with you now and always.
Hebrews 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.