After months of planning, hours of praying, and even more hours of shopping, surfing the Net, cruising Craigslist, and generally pouring over the world of RV’s, we have finally found our new home. At 10:00 am on Tuesday morning, Amy and I wrote the check for a 1993 Fleetwood Bounder 34S! (That’s right… Praise God it is PAID FOR! No financing, no lein. Debt free!) We are presently parked in front of my mother’s house in Boise loading the bays, lining the drawers, and hastily making it ready for our maiden voyage starting in less than 24 hours to Phoenix AZ for the start of the Wavorly Keep Breathing Tour! (See Tour Calendar)
We got a crazy deal on this thing. Its old. It’s got retro colors on the outside. It has over 100k miles on it. But get this…It had the engine AND transmission fully rebuilt only 8,000 miles ago! It has new tires, and a basically new, oversized top of the line generator. Those three things alone are worth what we paid for this whole thing! Since it was a steal, we were able to buy it without financing it, so it will make keeping the bank from breaking on the road all the more realistic. (Thank you Bob Rathbone for your sound encouragement to do this without borrowing a larger sum of money for a newer coach. We listened!)
We will be traveling through Phoenix, Vegas, Reno, Elko, Idaho, Southern Oregon, extensively through California, and then on back to Phoenix by Thanksgiving. From there, well, its kinda an open book, so we’ll see where we end up. Stay tuned to this blog for updates. We are excited to finally be ready to roll, and just wanted to thank everyone who has been supporting us, praying for us, and encouraging us on our adventure. We look forward to meeting new people on the road, and staying in touch with all of our friends here at home, wherever YOUR home happens to be! We’ll add more details later, and lots more photos as we make this thing "ours", but for now, here are a few details and a quick "before" interior shot!
1993 Fleetwood Bounder 34′ long Class A (Bus style)
454 Gas engine, new engine and transmission rebuild 8k miles ago
6 new tires
only 185 hours on the 7000w generator
new carpet on interior
Queen bed in back, sleeper sofa and dinette in front for kids
full kitchen w/ Gas stove, oven, fridge, freezer
and of course… running 2 mac books and a mac mini on a cellular wifi network! (ok… we added those)
TOTAL PRICE – w tax, title, license, etc… $8300!!
Blessings, and let the Share5 Tour begin!
Sharing well with others,
Chad & Amy
RETURN TO SHARE5.ORG
October 22, 2008 Comments Off
In a recent post I wrote about a quick turnaround need that was presented to us by a partner in Ghana, West Africa – Revival Harvest Academy. They were looking for assistance in financing a land purchase to expand their school by acquiring adjacent land.
I am happy to say that this week, thanks to the generous responses of readers of this blog and supporters of World Wins International, that we were able to provide $2050 of the total of $4500 needed for this project in only a few short days. I have been in contact with Pastor Sackey, and he said his church raised an additional $800 from their members and the community, which means that they were only $1650 short of the full purchase price, which the family has agreed to take on payments. Praise God!
Thank you for your support of this great acquisition. If you missed the original post and would still like to participate, we would be happy to let anyone who wishes help pay off the remaining balance on the land. Simply contact us through the website, or go to our secure online giving page.
While at the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta this past week, the Reverend Billy Graham received the 2008 Catalyst Lifetime Achievement Award. His son Franklin received it for him, and asked a special request. His father is turning 90 on November 7th. He asked that if you or someone you know was introduced to Jesus Christ through the ministry of Dr. Graham, that you please go to http://billygraham90.org and leave him a birthday message.
I know that my mother was a part of a Billy Graham crusade when she was just a young lady. She has shared the story with me many times. Mom- this one is for you. It’s your chance to thank him for the invitation so many years ago while blessing him on his 90th birthday.
As for me, Mr. Graham, thank you for changing one woman who birthed one boy who heard the story who is now doing his part to see your legacy continue. May God bless you as you have blessed this world with His message. You are a great example of what it means to share your life with others.
October 13, 2008 Comments Off
If you’ve ever heard our story you are familiar with Emmanuel Sackey, Pastor of Revival Harvest Church in Somanya, Ghana and our friend of 8 years now. We received an email earlier this month from Pastor Sackey alerting us that a pivotal opportunity has surfaced in Ghana.
We, along with Pastor Sackey and his congregation, have been praying that the family who owns the land parcel adjacent to the Revival Harvest Academy school would decide to sell the property to the school for use in expansion. As of last week, they are now ready to sell. We are looking to assist them in financing the $4500 total price tag, $2000 of which is needed as a down payment immediately, as there are a few other interested buyers in the wings. Allow us to share with you why we feel this is a great opportunity not only for them, but for a few of us as well. The key thing we would ask you to focus on here is not the purchase. It is the potential. Let’s explain.
About seven years ago we heard about a similar need. We decided, along with 9 other families, that if each of us could contribute $300, we could quickly and easily raise the $3000 needed to install a water tower as a gift for Pastor Sackey, the first of its kind in his village. When we made the decision to invest $300 in the water tower, we only saw the water tower. In that moment, that happened to be enough, but who knows. Another week, or if we had just had a car break down, (or if the economy was doing what it is today) we may have responded differently. We would have missed out on one of the best lessons in our life.
What we would have missed was what that water tower enabled. In the last seven years, that water tower has proved to be the single most important catalyst for the development of what is now a school providing meals and an education to over 300 young children daily.
THIS LAND IS THE NEXT WATER TOWER. This property is not the payoff. The ability to expand, and the potential that this land represents over the next several years is the payoff here. Imagine being part of enabling the development of a school that can provide for not 300 but 500, 600 or more children as it continues to grow.
Here is our challenge to you. Please consider what you and your family can do to help make this land purchase a reality. It may be $20. Maybe its $100. 15 of us at $300 and we are done. Maybe you want to do more. It is up to you. We urge you though – be part of this with us. We will be taking emails and calls all this week, and plan to follow up with Pastor Sackey by the weekend.
The ideal plan would be to donate $2000 towards the purchase, and then loan them the remaining $2500 to allow their church to participate in the payback. (This would also allow us to re-use this portion of the funds at a later date.) Lets team up with their church in Somanya and buy this land. We know where the economy is at, but we also know that we serve a God that says he will supply ALL our needs. We believe in stewardship of our resources, and believe that this is an investment that will pay back those involved in ways that will transcend finances. Please, get involved with us. Its an amazing story to be a part of.
We look forward to taking your call or email. We can be reached at 208*585*7370 or by email. We’d love to speak to you personally, however, if you would prefer to simply make a secure online contribution, please do so at our website.
Blessings, and may you experience the peace of God during troubled times!
Chad and Amy Houck
World Wins Int’l
World Wins Int’l is a registered Idaho 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization, and all contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.
October 11, 2008 Comments Off
Well, after a bumpy flight, we are back home with the kids in Boise. Two energetic little fireballs desperately want attention, so this will be short…
1. After posting my last entry from the Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, my mystery quotee fired me an email! She (my friend Sharon Burcham) corrected the quote as follows, and it makes my point even better than I had remembered it with her paraphrase below. Thanks Sharon!
"He has the whole filmstrip of my life in his view and not the snapshot of my present situation" . Paraphrase….He has the camcorder and we have the polaroid!"
2. The house is now a DONE DEAL! Our property manager signed a lease for the house this morning, and we have 10 days to have it ready for our new tenants. They seem to be great renters on paper, and we hope they are blessed with the house as we are on the road!
So there it is… 10 days and the house will no longer be a consideration in the budget. We will now rachet up the search for the RV, and will spend this week moving our stuff to its temporary place at my mom’s house.
Thats it… KID TIME! Here comes DADDY!!!!
October 9, 2008 Comments Off
As I write tonight, we are wrapping up day 2 of 3 in Atlanta GA for the Catalyst Leadership Conference. Reflecting on the week, it seems that God is teaching me a thing or two about timing. Check it out:
1. We got into Atlanta on Tuesday night, and shortly after our arrival, while in the parking lot of our favorite (not available in Idaho) restaurant (Chick-Fil-a), we received a phone call. It was our property manager back home asking if our house was still available for lease. She has a tenant! Good news- tenant. Timing – we have 10 days to be out of our house once we get home.
2. That makes us homeless as of the 24th, but that is ok, since our plan was to be in Phoenix by the 31st.
3. Still up in the air on the November tour. Waiting on confimation from the headlining band that we didn’t mess up the timing and miss the opportunity. We’ll keep you posted.
4. Tonight, we had a great meeting with some new friends, but it wasn’t with the full group we originally intended. The timing just didn’t work out, so the original plan had to be modified. (Why is that seem to be becoming my theme song?) end result: The great night and discussions we ended up having wouldn’t have worked with a larger group. I’m so glad things work out like that…
5. We went to a meetup of bloggers at Catalyst, but since we had the other dinner already, we showed up like over an hour and a half late. TIMING: because we were late, we actually had more time to speak to the host, his wife, and others, since the main crowd had already headed out.
I continue to be amazed at how I always seem to have one plan or agenda, and as soon as a single wrinkle in the timeline appears, my "plan" falls to pieces. God somehow manages to take the results and make them work out to my benefit. How is that? Someone (sorry, I wish I could remember who so I could credit you!) said to me today, "In the movie of my life, I tend to look at the individual still frame, but God sees the entire film strip". He truely does have a perspective and an ability to, regardless of our own inadequacies, mistakes, or shortcomings, use our successes and our failures to work his purposes for our lives.
Although Amy and I had the pleasure of spending the day today at the Catalyst Conference where some of the leading Christian authors in the country are speaking, our most vivid visual lesson actually occurred on our drive home. We experienced a both a miraculous move of God AND a perfect example of how man has corrupted authority within minutes of each other at the corner of Peachtree Industrial and Jimmy Carter Highway in Norcross, GA.
As we approached the intersection at about 9pm, I heard a quick screech, a loud crashing/tearing sound, and saw a car spin to a mangled stop in the middle of the road. Someone immediately fell out of the rear passenger door and stumbled holding his side to the grass alongside the road. As the airbags deflated, first the passenger and then the driver slowly climbed out of the car. Honestly, I never even noticed the 1Ton pickup that had just hit them that was about 50yds down the street, also spun around. I quickly slammed our car into park, threw on the flashers, and jumped out my door running for the man now rolling around on the grass. As I cleared the front of our car, I realized my wife Amy was right at my side. We hit the ground and she immediately took ahold of his head and began to pray as I tried to figure out what was hurting him.
By all rights, he should have been dead. They were just pulling out of a parking lot and he didn’t have his seat belt on yet. He had no airbag in the back. The rear drivers side of the car had literally been torn open about 16-18" right behind the drivers seat. He had blood running out of several cuts on his mouth, face, and neck, but once I calmed him down, I was able to find out his name was Hector, and he confided in me that he was only 20 and an illegal from Mexico. My response, in Spanish, was simply, "No Te preocupes. Esta Bien." (don’t worry. It’s OK) He began to scream "Where is God", and without a pause, I heard my wife’s calming voice in his ear assuring him "He is right here, right now, and you’re going to be fine". We held him stable until the paramedics arrived, and he would still need to get x-rays at the hospital, but God saved his life tonight in a car that should have claimed it. The driver and front seat passenger, also Latino young men, were standing by his side; Both were bumped, bruised, and aching, but standing none the less.
Hector had been loaded into the ambulance and the other two declined after asking how much it would cost. After the ambulance pulled away, the wrecker arrived and the officers began taking interviews and assessing the scene as the tow truck operator cleared the vehicles. Once the car and truck were loaded, he pulled out a push broom and began to sweep the broken glass toward the curb. I was shocked as I watched a Latino police officer walk up to the tow truck driver, speak to him, take the broom, and approach the two remaining Latino young men, call them to their feet, and say "So you wouldn’t take the ambulance so you’re not hurt, right? Good – Clean it up then." He shoved the broom into the face of the first youth, who took it with the one hand that wasn’t holding his ribs. He reluctantly walked out into the street as the officer seemed to snicker, and with the first push, dropped the broom and grabbed his ribs. His friend limped out to take his place, but had no better luck only barely managing to push it about a foot or two.
While the officer looked on, seeming to enjoy the "lesson" he was teaching, I had seen enough. I walked out onto the street, stood between the boys and the officer, and said, "If you are going to do this, then let me clean it up for them." His countenance immediately changed. His smile dropped. He stepped over to the broom, took it out of the boy’s hands, and responded with "Never mind. We’ll get it." Apparently he believed it was his right, his calling, to teach these two young Latino men a lesson, but when it came my turn, a middle aged white guy, he lost interest.
Ironically, my lesson was learned not in the officers misguided ways, but rather in my identification with his actions. How often have I, as a Christian, wielded the supposed authority of my borrowed righteousness on a innocent, unsuspecting non-believer through my judgment or even through my lack of caring for their needs? How often have I considered myself above or better than another?
William P. Young spoke today about how there is no hierarchy in the trinity; how God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit all exist on a mutually even plane and are mutually submitted to each other. He discussed how a human relationship in God’s context is built on that same mutual submission, one to another, not considering yourself greater than another.
While power and authority is a reality here on earth, Andy Stanley spoke at last year’s Catalyst Conference on "what do you do when you realize YOU are the most POWERFUL person in the room?" The answer, modeled in Christ at the last supper, His moment of ultimate realization of His power and authority (John 13:3 – Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;) … was to give it away for the sake of the other people in the room.
What I saw on the street tonight was a perfect example of both God’s grace and mercy, and a perfect example of why we as humans are so greatly in need of both.
October 6, 2008 Comments Off
The link below is an edited (commercials removed) file of the interview that Amy and I did on KBXL’s Treasure Valley Spotlight with David Malnes on Wed, October 1st. We hope you enjoy it!
Download Share5′s radio interview as an mp3.
Watch for updates from Catalyst this week! We fly at 7:30 Tuesday morning. You can also follow chad or amy on Twitter!
October 1, 2008 Comments Off
Down to less than one week from our departure from Boise to Atlanta for the Catalyst conference. Today saw time at the offices of Unity Corporation for a shareholders meeting, followed up by a live radio interview on Boise’s Family Inspirational Radio KBXL 94.1FM. (We will be posting an mp3 of the interview as soon as they email it to us!) It was a great interview with their new program called Treasure Valley Spotlight, and we look forward to returning in the future to continue the conversation about Share5 and give updates on how things are going.
We have had a great week, and were fortunate to have Amy’s parents surprise us with a visit last Friday night, so they’ve been hanging out with us and their grandkids, which has actually let us get alot of things done. Keeping priorities, however, we did decide to do a 3 day "RV Experiment" and went camping with them in their 5th wheel to give the kids an appetizer of "life on the road". What a blast!
I leave tomorrow for a men’s retreat in the Idaho mountains for 3 days, so I will try to put a post or two about what God is doing/saying while I am there. By the time I get back, it will only be 3 days to wheels up for Catalyst!
Blessings, and watch for blog updates from MAN CAMP!