Choosing to embrace a purpose filled life, compassionate love and service unto those around us in need vs individualized material gain may be a radical idea for most people, especially by today’s self focused material standard. Tossing away America’s “white picket fence thinking” to serve in an old school bus converted into a mobile supply mission often leads folks to label us “those people” and often leads to the perplexed question as to “why?”. For my husband and I along with our furry children otherwise known as doggies, our journey into a more simplistic living and mobile bus outreach means far more then a passing phase of life or a chance to step outside the norm, the meaning behind our life choice is deeper than what most may understand.
Our story begins for us both about nine years ago before my husband and I started to date. We were first close friends for over 30 years. Nine years ago both of us overcame deep rooted hardship in life only to reset and embrace living simple with deep purpose once again. Clinging to what truly matters in life. Purging the hurtful past and the toxic people that steered our lives before allowed for new positive doors to open. For us both almost in unison without knowing the other turned the same life changing corner began a new. The true value of peaceful living with deep meaning and joy became our mutual goal for our own personal life’s journey. For us both our faith in Christ deepened in a life changing way which led to a shift in what truly matters and how anything or anyone negative no longer was allowed a roll in our lives. Even though my soon to be husband and I were not dating as of yet, we both were in unison within our newly arrived positive and peaceful life stance. Our priorities and experiences were completely in sink. Something we would soon after connect upon over tea on my bright orange sofa both in laughter and in tears as we rekindled something that was once there so many years ago.
From life long friends to a decision to date which naturally led to a beautiful, passionate marriage two years later. Each of us look back at all the years with amazement that it took such a long hard journey to find true partnership and depth in lasting love. My husband proposed to me in the Emergency room where I almost lost my life to a unknown blood disease that clotted my lungs and legs a year into our courtship. Praise Adonai, I am one of the 33% that live to tell the story of how valuable life truly is and what truly, truly matters. With the knowledge now of having what the doctors call a “life long condition” one that has no cure, rare and with very little treatment with a need for constant monitoring to keep me out of stroke or death…leads my life into a spiral of personal evaluation of what truly matters and the thankfulness of each given new day.
Traveling back from India from a mission trip, life hit me personally behind the ears as I realized even more the value of life and even deeper, saving life within my own reach. Owning a non profit where we serve over 4000 lives a year, I have seen through the 13 years of service three kinds of people, those that hurt & take, those that help out of convenience, religion or amends & ignore the majority and then there are those that work diligently to change what is within their own grasp with deep devotion for a lifetime. I was not born with a silver spoon in mouth, I have fought the good fight to maintain, grow and keep what I have worked hard to create and have. Minimal living has been apart of my life since childhood. Both of our parents and childhood lives were traditional, penny saving lifestyles like growing gardens and harvesting food and working at a young age to earn on our own what we desired and giving to others not just ourselves. Material gain has never been a common thread for either of us. We love big, give big and live each day as it comes. Yet seeing, touching, loving, crying and serving beside people that do not even have a crumb has grown my heart and my mind knowing that there is always more we can do together for each other. We may not have silver spoons but our Faith in God and ability to choose creative methods to rise above and help furiously and live passionately for change is exactly the focus that has centered our lives. Minimizing and debt free living outside of a roof over our heads and cost of living expenses, would allow us to save, send and build, living simple for a greater purpose.
At first we thought long and hard of building a tiny house one that looked like a house. The fad in America with Tiny House nation is taking the wave of tiny to an new direction. Neither one of us has any carpentry skills to back up this new venture yet we are computer geeks, artists and thrive on DYI. With our non profit we are green thinkers and upcycling is in our veins not to mention as artists we see trash as a unique opportunity to create something beautiful so creating a practical home with a quirky flare would be fitting. Thus came the idea to purchase old school buses and build them into a tiny house for traveling along with a separate mobile mission bus w/supplies for folks in need as well as a place to express artistically.
When we started “bus surfing” we realized it was best to buy from a school district as they consistently update and care for their buses. At the desk for a few weeks we mastered how to purchase buses, this was a lesson all on it’s own. We found two buses already set up in propane. Our story of conversion begins on the drive home from two trips with my husband driving one bus at a time and myself and our dogs following behind. The freedom we felt was overwhelming laced with a tremendous amount of excitement. That feeling only continues to grow even in the threshold of learning how to build and in the unknown of what is to come. The process is challenging, we are convinced that there is a daily need for a lesson somewhere somehow that is related to life with the bus project being our teacher. Our faith and marriage weaves even tighter as we experience this journey on a deeper hands on level. Abba God is with us throughout, we can see His mighty hand upon us with every step we take. A few solid pieces of understanding are clear for us…there is no doubt God gave us one another, love is first, God has given us both a natural ability to create and to see beauty in everything and there is a greater purpose as to why are are all planted upon this magnificent planet that God has given. As for today, we are blessed to learn and to live and to give. Thanks for traveling with us today….love to all