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Family Building a Skoolie as Mobile Mission Base

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While most people choose skoolie life so they can travel the country (or continent), JT, Berenise and their son Asher have been renovating a school bus to use as a mobile mission base. The family spent about 11 months in Mexico and Brazil working among the hurting and homeless. They wanted to continue that work, but while still having a “home base” of their own. So they built a skoolie!

“We can assist in feeding them, showering them, entertaining them with a projector on the side of the bus and more!” they wrote us. What a beautiful idea — and a beautiful bus. Check out more of their story below!

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Loving & Serving Others in Their Bus Conversion

Here’s the adorable family at the beginning of the process.

Time for a roof raise!

A lot of welding went into this rig.

And a lot of wiring, too!

The walls are going up!

They are just about to move into this beauty.

The ladder gives them access to the roof deck from inside.

Loving the farmhouse kitchen feel!

Time for dinner!

Looking up to the rooftop access.

What a welcoming entrance.

The beautiful bathroom.

Love the skylight!

Here comes the bus home!

They have a table outside as well.

Time for a picnic.

Q&A with the Couple:

Where are you from? North Mississippi

How did you first become seriously interested in tiny homes? We lived in Mexico and Brazil for 11 months and had the opportunity to help people living within the streets in bad situations. We fell in love with helping people and sharing Jesus with them. We wanted to do it full time but in a way we could also be comfortable. We wanted a place we could call home. So we decided to build a skoolie! This would allow us not only to live in those places amongst the people we want to help, but also serve out of it as well! We can assist in feeding them, showering them, entertaining them with a projector on the side of the bus and more!

Why did you go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of it for yourself? No mortgage. Live anywhere. More simplistic, minimal life.

How long did it take you to finish your tiny house? 2 years, 3 months

Did you do it yourself? Who helped? How much did it end up costing you to build it? All ourselves. Somewhere around 30-40,000

Do you keep it in one place or do you move around? We’ll be doing a little of both! Stationary and traveling!

What’s been the most challenging part about your tiny house so far? We are finishing up the last steps right now. But up to this point, building it requires a lot of research and learning. The roof raise was very intimidating, but with research and hard work, we got through it! I built houses for about 6 years throughout my life, so the majority of the wood work felt natural. But without any experience, I could see how that would be pretty challenging because of all the weird angles and curves of a vehicle.

What benefits are you experiencing from it so far? We haven’t moved in yet, but It’s really nice to stand back a look at how far we’ve come. To literally look at a dream that we had and see it slowly coming true. It feels very liberating!

What helpful piece of advice would you give to others who are interested in going tiny? What mistakes could you help them avoid? Do not be afraid. Get involved in the community of van/skoolie builders and don’t be afraid to ask for help/advice. Try to be real with the process and set small, achievable goals. Do not get in a hurry!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Susan Harter
    August 26, 2022, 9:30 am

    What a beautiful job you all did! God blessed you with abilities you didn’t know you had! He’s blessing you because you’ve dedicate your lives to Him! May you feel his presence and leading as you follow his mission for you! I believe he will supply all your needs along the way. Happy travels. I will pray for you and your beautiful family!😊🙏

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