We managed to stay put in one house here in Peru for 3 years, and after those 3 years we made a big move to a new neighborhood and a MUCH smaller apartment. This past year in our apartment has been full of good learning experiences. It’s given us more intimate experiences as a family, caused some frustrations for sure, given me perspective on what I need vs. what I want, and provided a good atmosphere for God to remind us of all of his blessings in our life.
It is completely doable living here with our 5 person family, although there are moments when it does feel like if we ever don’t put something up immediately after using it (which we always do…wink, wink) then we are literally stepping all over each other just trying to move around in the apartment. I have really enjoyed living here for a few reasons, and I have also been prone to seasons of complaining about how small it feels at times. The great thing is that we are closer to some of our church members, which we love. We enjoy being within walking distance of some of our peruvian friends, and we’re glad we moved out of our comfort zone in our old neighborhood and into something that was new for us.
When Carter was born we realized we had an issue with mold in our bedroom closet, and we think he might have had some reactions to the high levels of humidity in our rooms during the winter time here. He was sick from about 2 months old to close to 5 months old with a chest cough and allergies. We knew that we needed to at least consider whether we should find a different place to live for his sake if nothing else, but we weren’t prepared to make any decisions until after we returned from being gone for 2 months in the States.
While we were in the States, Justin and I came to the realization that we really were not prepared to go through another move so close to the last move we’d had (a year can FLY by!), but we just weren’t sure yet if we were supposed to be moving or not. We also knew that this year was a year that each family on our team would be taking some furlough time, and we would be down 2 families in the months of May and June. As it so happens, our team had our yearly medical campaign scheduled for June 6-12th of this year, and Justin and I would be one of 2 couples on our team in charge of it all. Since our contract on our apartment ends June 1st, we would be moving right in the middle of all of that, and that was just not possible for us. I prayed a few times while in the Sates that if God did want us to move that He would drop something in our laps because of our lack of time and energy to go out looking for a new home. Justin and I decided a couple of weeks after coming back to Peru that while we did have a desire to have a bit more space, it was not the right time for us to move. We would stay here another year.
Two days after making that final decision (that we felt peace about), we got an email from our landlord saying he wanted nearly double what we were currently paying for rent. Hold on. What?
It was ridiculous. The apartment, while new and clean, is NOT worth the amount of money he wanted, and we thought it a bit absurd that he wanted such an increase in one year of us being here. Justin wrote a tactful email back saying that while we appreciated what the apartment offered, we knew it was not right to be paying that amount and we needed him to come to a conclusion with us by the end of the week about how much our new contract would be for. After coming down only just a little bit of money a month, we decided to sit on it and pray a bit for a few days about what we needed to do. If we were going to have to pay the amount he was asking, we certainly wanted a bit more space to go along with it. We just weren’t sure.
I had mentioned to a church friend who lives near us about the change in our rent and how ridiculous it was, and after talking to him and his wife they said they agreed it was not right to pay that much for our apartment. A few days later this friend called us saying he had seen a sign for a house that was for rent just near where we are now. Apparently it was a 4 bedroom house that they wanted just $40 more a month for than the last price our current landlord had quoted us for our apartment! We decided we might as well go look at the house to see if it was really all it seemed it might be, but we couldn’t get in touch with our friend at all that day. Around 4pm that day we got the kids in the stroller and went out walking toward where our friend had said he had seen this house. After walking around for a bit, we thought it was a lost cause since we hadn’t seen any houses with signs on them, and just as we were thinking we’d turn back I saw a small piece of notebook paper taped to a telephone pole with a sign written in sharpie that was the exact info. our friend had given us. Except that God wanted me to see this sign, I have no idea how I even noticed it! So we called.
Since this story has already become a long one, I’ll end by saying we could not have asked for a better home to be “dropped into our laps”! It is still near where we currently live, it has room for us to have overnight visitors again, we have a small yard again (!!!), and there is a roof where we can store things we aren’t currently using (right now our friends have let us put some of our boxes and things on their roof…i’m sure they will be glad to have that space back).
We got the keys this past Tuesday, and we are presently painting and cleaning it up a bit. Not only did God just lay this right in front of us, but He has also opened the door for it to be a smooth and stress free move. While we are very sad to say that we have decided to cancel our team’s medical campaign this year, it does mean that our focus will not have to be divided between moving and preparing for that. Sidenote: For those unaware, our teammate Lee Fletcher got Malaria after visiting the Jungle in Peru and was in the hospital for a couple of weeks plus some days. It was very stressful on their family, and helping to care for our teammates also took time and love on our parts seeing as we are like their family here in Peru. About a week ago, Lee and Justin made the difficult decision to cancel the med. campaign due to not knowing the future of Lee’s recovery. Lee is doing much better, but he still has a bit of a road ahead of him to gain his strength back. We appreciate continued prayers on their behalf!
So there you have it. We are moving. We are excited and ready, although I know it might get harder before it gets easier. We do of course have to move all of our stuff! I don’t really have pictures now, but I will try and post some in the coming weeks. Thanks ahead of time for your prayers for us in the next couple of months as we make this transition. Even though God has made a smooth path for us, I know Satan can use this time as a way of trying to stress us out or give us reasons to argue. We, of course, want to stay strong through anything that comes our way! I will end with a sweet picture of our kids on Easter Sunday. 🙂