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Colin & Jennifer Jenkins

For three years we searched for the right house and small piece of land. Finally in desperation we cried out to the Lord for guidance. The next day Colin was outside praying and God gave him this verse, ‘Lift up your eyes to the hills…’ He did, and found himself looking straight up at the Ohauiti Valley, on the outskirts of Tauranga. We remembered a friend in Ohauiti with a piece of land we’d looked at three years earlier. We’d liked it but decided that it was easier to buy a house than build one from scratch. We rang them, and yes, they were still willing to sell us a piece of their land. We walked over it; grassy hillside, a flat terrace and a tiny stream running along the bottom. We loved it- it was so peaceful and secluded.

Years before, we had began contributing to Liberty Trust for three separate loans. The first helped to pay for the land along with money from the sale of our house at Papamoa, the second and third would cover the building costs. We arranged a bank mortgage to cover the gap while we waited for our second and third loans to come due.

We knew we couldn’t afford to build home large enough for our six children using a regular building company, so decided to employ a builder paying labour only, which meant Colin had to buy and get the materials to the site and organise the subcontractors. The friend who sold us the land agreed to build our home, assisted by another good friend, a cabinet maker.

We also decided to save money where we could by using recycled and discounted materials. We spent almost a year collecting materials for our home. First we found a door factory having a garage sale and bought a beautiful front door with glass panels and surrounds for under half price, and two tall wooden and glass patio doors to lead from the dining room into the lounge. Looking at the doors, we decided maybe God was going to bless us with a much flasher looking home than what we imagined!

Colin kept his eyes open when he was driving around, and if he noticed any demolition work he stopped to chat about the materials that were being disposed of. This way we were able to get much good timber (which needed de-nailing,) really attractive bricks from a warehouse being demolished to make way for the new Mega Mitre 10 (which needed the mortar chipped off- a big family project), insulation, cobblestones, wire netting for the roof etc. Through the newspaper, Bay Trader and internet we were able to get showers, doors, boards for cupboards, windows, a garage door etc. We found a large six year old home in Papamoa whose new owners were redecorating to change the classic look and so we bought all the carpet, drapes, light fittings, bathroom vanities, plus wall oven and hob. The original owners had just used it as a holiday home so everything was as new.

An electrician friend taught us how to do the wiring so we wired the house ourselves, and he and his son put the switches and plugs on and certified it for free. The children helped to paint skirting and scotia boards and internal doors.

We put a Marshall water heater in instead of a hot water cylinder, and a Kent fire in the lounge, both second-hand but looking new.

Colin spent hours working out the plans and drawing them up ready for the draughtsman, and it is really fulfilling seeing it all come together. We have built a 5 bedroom plus office home for around half of the cost of getting a building firm to do it. We have many stories of how the Lord supplied new looking materials for under half price (our budget goal), and we have the enormous satisfaction of starting with a paddock and ending with a home.

We praise the Lord for Liberty Trust. We had no idea, all those years ago, why the Lord wanted us to have three loans, but now it all makes sense, and we are really grateful. There is no way we could have financed a property like this through the bank- the interest payments would be too high. Belonging to Liberty Trust is being part of a team with a common goal; showing God’s faithfulness.