Monday, December 10, 2007

Asking for help.

I finally got this written up. It is not easy for me to ask for help but I have learned it is not a bad thing to do if your heart is right. I plan on presenting this to our Sunday school class as well as a few friends we have made over the last year. That would include most of you who read this blog. I did delete my phone number as I don't think it would be wise to put it out there for the whole world. Will be glad to release it on an individual basis for any of you who wish to talk. Just Email me at the address at the end of this. If any want to make a donation there is a donate button on the right where you can do so through PayPal.

We have been incredibly blessed since we moved to my grandmother’s farm from Ohio. Things were rough at first because the house has not been kept up for twenty five years so without heat, hot water, or a kitchen we pretty much were camping out. Living on a disability check makes things a little harder as we could afford little beyond basic living expenses. There has been an outpouring of love and generosity once our situation became known to many in the Christian community. We now have a kitchen, hot water heater, wood stove for heat, lawnmower, and a host of other helps such as when some of our new friends rented a tractor and came out to mow and chop down weeds that had grown six feet tall in some areas. There have been many other gifts and helps but what we appreciate the most is acceptance and friendship.

When others saw the need they jumped in and helped without being asked. Now we ask for help. As many of you know we have a farm. Seventy six acres just sitting here waiting to be worked. The one thing, the most essential piece of equipment needed for a farm is a tractor. A tractor opens up a world of opportunity. With it I can begin building this farm. It will be a seed so to speak from which we can grow a life of independence. I will be able to start growing crops that can be sold locally at the farmers markets and to grocery stores as well as a roadside stand in front of our house.

After much searching we have found a really nice deal from a John Deere dealer in Georgetown (near Austin). It is a new John Deere tractor equipped with a front end loader, heavy duty mower commonly called a shredder, a tiller that is also heavy duty, and a post hole digger. Included in the package is a twenty foot trailer.

So here’s the sales pitch so to speak. In addition to being able to farm this property I can earn money hiring out to others who need mowing and other work done this tractor can accomplish. After paying nearly five hundred dollars to rent a tractor for a day to till this property I understand the potential for this. That was just the tractor with no operator. There are some who charge $150.00 an hour for this kind of thing. The twenty foot trailer allows me to take the tractor to location and will also be used to transport produce to market. Each implement (post hole digger, tiller, shredder, front end loader) can provide additional income. Plus each one is essential to building this farm from scratch.

Here is where we need some help. The entire package can be had for $23,510. It can be financed over six years at 4.9 % interest with no down payment needed so the payments will be $378.00 a month. A down payment will of course reduce that. Unfortunately we had to file bankruptcy on the nearly quarter of a million dollar hospital bill I had from the accident that put me in a coma. My disability check is only nine hundred dollars so our credit is not good enough to have this loan approved. Some have offered to help with payments but unless we can get the loan approved there will be no payments to help with. That is where we need help. We need a cosigner for the loan.

We are confident that we can make the payments. We own the house so don’t have to pay rent. All of our vehicles are paid for and we have been able to live on the disability check alone for a year. Cherie now has a part time job as a personal assistant for some friends (the ones who put in a kitchen and hot water heater for us) That brings in four to five hundred dollars a month, which is more than enough to make the payments without any additional income from the farm and tractor. Someone has pledged $250.00 a month for the first six months to help make payments with. This will get us through winter and into spring when I will be able to start getting work with the tractor in addition to early crops such as lettuce that can be sold, thus bringing in income. There is no penalty for early payment on the loan and each month we are able to pay extra the loan is automatically recalculated.

Another factor is that at some point the estate will be closed and I will get the remainder of my inheritance. It’s been two years now since my grandmother died and we inherited this farm. When that happens there is an additional five to seven thousand dollars that will be released. Our lawyer is working to make this happen fairly soon but there is no telling when it will.

So there’s the money end of it. This will help us as we work to build our life together and continue the miracle that it is. The gifts and helps we have received so far have been fantastic blessings but this will be something that keeps giving for the rest of our life. It will enable us to pay for the needs of this house and other things in addition to build a working farm. In my mind there is no question anymore that God’s hand is on our life and He has something in mind for us.

The individual who pledged to cover our first six months of payments (a loan by the way that we will pay back) also said he would cosign the loan. I told him that he is doing his part and I feel that we should let someone else have the opportunity to do so. The thing about cosigning a loan is the cosigner puts his/her credit at risk. I understand that in life there are few certainties. In the gospel of Luke, chapter 14 vs. 28 Jesus said For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—With that in mind I thought it would be wise to ask for others to help if we were unable to make a payment. While we are confident we can make all the payments it would provide some security for the cosigner. Together much can be accomplished.

We have a vision for this farm, have researched and visited pick your own apple orchards. Five thousand trees will easily fit on twenty acres. There is much more we are planning to do and I am building a business plan but it all starts with a tractor. From that seed everything else will come. While we are confident of being able to handle the costs we will gladly accept donations for things like irrigation hose and seeds. And you can bet there’s going to be lots of watermelons, cantaloupes, peas, and more stuff than I can list that will be a fringe benefit for all involved.

Please pray and think about helping us build this farm. The deal on the tractor package is good till the end of the year. It’s one of those end of the year get rid of inventory before tax time things. Email at Visit our blog where you can see pictures and read about all that transpires out here. The address is

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