We have been needing a bigger vehicle for many months, but we weren't sure what we were going to do about it. Once the financial dust settled after we arrived here, we realized it would be awhile before we could afford much of a car payment. How do you find a 12- or 15-passenger van for really cheap and yet know that it's in good enough shape to be a reliable family vehicle?
I will tell you how. You leave it in the hands of the Lord. I believe that when we do what He asks us to do, He provides a way for us to do it. Having eight children has been a leap of faith, since we are not rich. But He has never let us down. So when it came to having a bigger vehicle, we prayed, and then since we didn't see a way at the time we left it in His hands for the time being and tried to be patient. It looked to me from where I was sitting that it would be a long time-- another year, perhaps-- before we could buy anything.
Out of the blue, the Badger's brother called us in mid-December. The organization he works for was selling off a 12-passenger van from their fleet. It was old, but impeccably maintained and in very good shape. The price was really low-- low enough that we could afford payments. Talk about a blessing!
In all our van research, we had identified some things we really wanted, such as a tow hitch, cargo space, and a color other than white. This van had most everything on our list (no back-up camera, but we can add that later.)
The week before Christmas the Badger flew out to get it. The transaction and transportation went smoothly. Merry Christmas to us! We now have a vehicle that our entire family can ride in together. We can now discuss possibilities for going on family vacations this year, or even just going out of town for a day trip. What an amazing blessing!
Here it is in the driveway behind our old van (I took this picture on Christmas morning when I was photographing all our presents.) They are both GMCs made only a couple years apart, so the instrument panels are very similar. That has been nice!
You may remember that I have been harboring apprehensions for years about driving such a large vehicle. And this thing is every bit as huge as I had imagined. We keep saying what a big beast it is, so that's probably the name that's going to stick.
But what I never realized is how fun it is to drive something so big and powerful. It's got a V-8 engine and when you hit the gas it really goes. Yes, the tiny parking lot in front of the post office is a pain to maneuver, but driving it mostly is a total hoot. I can't believe I'm saying that!
And, friends, the room this thing has inside! The luxury of not being totally squished! Being able to designate spots for each car seat where they can stay! Having two more seats than we even need!
We feel very, very blessed.