After being in ministry full-time for two winters, maintaining equipment out in the wind, snow, and cold is hard on anyone. We had just completed our woodshed in July 2012 when I got a phone call from a man in one of our supporting churches offering to help fund a garage. I literally hadn’t even climbed off the shed roof when he said, “This needs to happen THIS year”.
Once we got enough money for the foundation and concrete was in the ground, many started helping with funds and manpower to win this ‘race against time’, as winter was only a few weeks away. We did get everything enclosed and heated before hard freezes, but the last window was installed during a snowstorm. This completed what we could accomplish for the year.
In early 2013, the same gentleman with the vision for such a HUGE garage called and wanted to pay for fiber-cement siding to put on the entire structure. This meant that most of the summer of 2013 would be yet another learning experience for the Pinnix family. It was a grueling task, but after hand painting, cutting, and hanging over 900 boards, the outside of our house was complete. Except for steps going into the front door! Immediately, we were once again, racing time to get porches and steps built before snow flies! Once this project was done towards the end of the year, we had even more churches donate money towards the house and we were able to get traditional financing through a bank and get enough money to finish the inside of our home.
We spent the entire winter inside with several volunteers transforming our lifestyle of living in “a construction zone” into living in “a normal house”. For the first time since we had been in Alaska, we have more than one bathroom sink for a family of 10. The bedsheets serving as doors were replaced with actual doors. I now would have an office space. No longer would I would have to share the kitchen table with homeschoolers between meals!
The entire construction project from when we retired from the Air Force and started full-time ministry was 4 1/2 years. During this time my wife birthed two children while homeschooling at least four others. This changed our house into a facility that doubled our floorspace making a first-class facility for operating, maintaining, prepping, and recovering the RAM equipment for trips into the bush!