Guidelines for Housing a Family with 12 Children!
We understand that providing for the needs of a large traveling family can be intimidating! But we’ve also found that some of our hosts worry a lot more about our accommodations than necessary. In fact, as our family size has grown, we’ve even had services cancelled because the host felt they “couldn’t provide” for us, leaving us with no place to stay or to minister. We want to be a blessing and not a burden to you during our visit. In order to accomplish that, we’ve developed some ideas and guidelines, based on years of family travel experience, that we think may help you prepare for our meeting.
Lodging Possibilities: The means of providing lodging for guests varies from group to group. Some prefer hotels while others always use homes. We enjoy staying in a variety of settings. Here are some ideas for each:
- In a Home- We realize that most people do not have 14 extra beds in their house! For that reason we always bring sleeping bags with us on extended trips. The children think it’s a real treat to sleep on the floor, like camping out! We also bring our own portable crib for the littlest ones. Relax! Couches, basements, and living room floors are fine with us. Sleeping on the floor is in line with our family mission statement to raise up many future missionaries and this is great training!
- Hotels- Our family can fit comfortably in a suite style hotel room, which is generally not much more expensive than a standard hotel room and almost always less expensive than two separate rooms. They generally have enough room for beds and sleeping bags to accommodate everyone. Hotels which serve breakfast are a real blessing to us since it eliminates purchasing 14 meals while traveling.
- In Your Church- Our favorite place to stay is often in the church building itself. We put our sleeping bags on the floor in a classroom, the children play in the nursery or playground, while the parents enjoy the library. It’s a perfect arrangement! It gives us the privacy and freedom of not being under someone else’s roof, but not being confined to a hotel room. And it doesn’t cost the church anything. Yet, we have a hard time convincing some people it’s OK to do this because they feel it is inhospitable, but it really is a favorite choice, especially for a multiple day meeting. In fact, we’d really prefer this over staying in a home with someone if the whole family is traveling and we are spending more than one night.
- Guest Houses- There are many areas of the county where churches or individuals have made quest houses available to us whenever we are in the area. We appreciate this and generally take advantage of it, completely relieving the host church of any housing responsibility. Some of these include: Atlanta, Birmingham, Akron, Roanoake, Indianapolis, Seattle, Knoxville, Phoenix, and Denver. If your church has a guest house, or you know a church with a guest house or vacant parsonage, that is an excellent option for us.