Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Winding Path: a crazy long post

God is never boring. I try to just sit back and watch, but Jimmy is much better at that than me.
Thursday morning Jim called Byron to make sure the main house that we were going to see was
still available and it was. (This is the house we found out about last Friday evening.) We left this Friday at 3:15 in the morning for the Petén. We only go on weekends so that I miss as little class as possible. Friday afternoon we went to see the house (which was perfect) and found out that it had been rented Thursday evening (less than 24 hrs before we got there). We just laughed.

Byron tried to get us to rent his brother’s house instead. There were people living there, but they were destroying the house and his brother wanted us to move in and fix it up. Many people here really like for Gringos to rent their houses because they usually increase the property value while they’re there. This house was so dark and filthy and they wanted us to pay part of April and all of May and then we would still have to do all the work. They started at 3,000 quetzales and we got them to come down to 2,300 (I told Jimmy to tell them we were looking at another house for 2,300... we did not mention that we would never live there, but this is how you play the game.) We told them we would let them know on Saturday. That evening I really was struggling with the fact that I was not willing to live there and that might cost us another month in Xela. By the time I went to sleep I was planning on that being our new home.

Saturday we had scheduled to go look at a house with another man we met named Foster. We were supposed to meat him last time we were here, but he never showed up. He is a Christian who is part N. American and part Guatemalan. He knew of a house that started a 4,000 and we were hoping to possibly talk the man down.
When we got there the owner saw that we were gringos and told us his house was $1,300 a month, that is 9,750 quetzales. We looked at it for some reason, I did not want to go. While we were there the owner’s wife said that her brother was fixing up a property around the corner.
This is what that house looks like! The owner lives in Guate and had someone living in it for 12 years to take care of it, but they didn’t. It has been empty for the last 2 years. This picture is the front room. It is a little rough right now. These are the guys collecting up the truck load of garbage they are hauling off.
This is the backyard... it looks like a dump right now!
This is Jimmy, Foster, and the owner standing in the courtyard that leads to the backdoor. The door off to the side is an extra room with a full bath. The wall on the left is an unfinished section of the house. It does not have a roof. The door on the green wall is our backdoor.
This is our front door. Yes, we decided to get the house! The bottom front of our house is a gun shop! That means our living room and bedroom are above it. Jimmy was so excited. He said we should buy the gun shop too. I said, “Why... do you want to start a church there?” He said, “No, I want to have a gun shop!”
That gray area on the left is a cemented door that lead to the gun shop. I thought I could make some curtains that stay closed so that no one would ever know the difference.
From the roof and balcony you can see lake Itza.
God worked everything out because if we had met up with Foster last time like we were supposed to, this man would not have been here. If it would have been any later, he probably would have had the house looking better and it would have been more expensive or no longer available. This house is probably the most disgusting thing we have ever seen, but for some reason it just seems perfect. Jimmy and I are the ultimate “before and after” couple when it comes to houses... maybe just the ultimate "before" couple because we start with nasty places! I cannot not wait to see what it looks like in a couple months.

1. We do not have to start paying until June. This was a specific prayer request!
2. I really wanted to do the painting inside myself, so that I could pick the colors and make sure it was neat. The owner agreed and took $67 off of our rent for the first 6 months. He let me pick the outside color. I picked light grey because it will help it stay cool and I think it will look pretty with a white trim. The owner is also going to paint the ceilings for us... they are pretty moldy.
3. It comes with a gas stove. Not just any stove, but the exact one we wanted to buy! Now we only have to purchase a fridge, which a church in TN is sending us money for!
4. This is nuts, but it has a walk-in closet. I might share it with Jimmy... we will see!
5. It has a cistern. Before every time we asked about a cistern people would just laugh.
6. It is on the main street is San Benito which is a safer location. It is 5 minutes from the airport.
While we were in Petén we stayed at a hotel will low rates that we were thinking about putting a team in. It was a little rough for a team, so I am glad we stayed there first. We want people to want to come back! It had a nice view of Lake Itza though.

The Evolution of My Perspective
We have looked for houses several times now since we have been married. Each time our perspective is completely different from the last. The first time we started looking was right after we got married. You get a lot more for your money in KS than you do in FL, so I was looking for a house with a nice master bathroom... you know one with a nice big tub. (which we never found). When we first moved to Guatemala, I thought forget the tub, it would be really nice to have a hot water heater (we did get that for about 3 months!) When we were looking to find something cheaper in Oct, I knew we wouldn’t find a hot water heater, but I was hoping for kitchen cabinets (which we found). The first time we drove to the Petén, I didn’t think we would find cabinets, so I was really just hoping for a kitchen sink. This time when we left for the Petén, I thought forget everything else, I just want a wall around my house so I can sleep at night. (God gave us so much more!) Thank you for praying!

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