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My Father’s House

“Well, if you could use a tax deduction, you could give us the house.”


Our call to Jamaica began in October of 1996 when we visited Jamaica for two weeks on a short-term missions trip. After that short trip, we knew God was calling us to Jamaica for a longer commitment. The Koch (Cook) family moved to Jamaica in June of 1997. We rented a small but adequate home in Whitehouse, Westmoreland, Jamaica. We pursued land and prayed for God to open doors for a children’s home to be established on the south coast of Jamaica.

As we prayed many times sitting on our front porch, we would dream of a home similar to the one just across the street from where we lived. That home was large with much concrete in the yard for children to play on and many fruit trees for the children to eat from. After a time of praying, God impressed upon our hearts to take children into our home right where we lived. We became a foster home and took in 7 Jamaican children. This caused us to pray harder; we needed more space!

One day Jim noticed a man at the house across the street. We had never met the owner before and were interested in who this could be. Jim introduced himself and found that this man was the owner of the home. The man gave us a tour of the home and explained that he was in town to take pictures to use to advertise the home for sale. We in turn explained who we were and our mission here in Jamaica. The man made a generous offer explaining that he hoped to sell the home for $750,000 US, but because of what we would use the home for, he would give it to us for $500,000. We giggled a bit and stated that if God wanted us to have it He would raise the money. Then Penie asked if he was a US businessman; it was obvious from his accent that he was of Russian decent. His answer was, “Yes.” To everyone’s amazement, the next statement from Penie’s mouth was, “Well, if you could use a tax deduction, you could give us the house.” It was his turn to laugh!

That same home is where My Father’s House resides today! We have been occupying this home as a children’s home and mission base since August 2001. The man did give us the home as a tax write off! It hasn’t been quite as simple as it may sound. There have been many mountains moved by God on our behalf. One of the largest mountains moved was the waiver of the $84,000 US duty and transfer tax that needed to be paid before the transaction could be finalized. We received the waiver in February, 2003!

Our faith has been greatly increased through these events. One thing we are certain of is that God’s will is best and living in it is a great adventure. We trust God to continue to be our guide and provider. We have learned that He doesn’t always do things in a conventional manner and He always comes through!

“Well, if you could use a tax deduction, you could give us the house.”