Paradise Mountain Ministries (PMM) began in the home of its founder, Carolyn Eckman, and her four children. Carolyn and her husband, David, had been missionaries in Indonesia for 18 years and were on home assignment in the United States when he was diagnosed with cancer. Two years after David's death, Carolyn and her children returned to Irian Jaya for several weeks. Upon arrival back to her home in Toccoa, Georgia, in 1982, she found that their house was occupied by 10 Third Culture Kids (TCKs) who needed a place to stay.
For a time there were regularly 15 people at the table. Through these experiences, God gave a vision for a home specifically to care for the college-age TCKs who had no where to call home in the United States while their parents were serving in an overseas ministry.
Soon Carolyn's attention was drawn to an old, vacant farmhouse on twenty five acres. The appraised value was much too high for this widow to afford, yet in 1990, God opened the way for her to have first choice on the property. She was given six days to come up with 20% of the price, after which the owner would then hold the mortgage for ten years.
She spent five days in prayer, shedding tears and making phone calls. On the sixth day, an interest-free, ninety-day loan for the 20% was offered. That offer was accepted and the loan was paid in full within the ninety days. More people caught the vision of caring for TCKs, and within four years the property was paid off. The old farmhouse was renovated and young people began to move in. Before long, the need exceeded the space available, so a second house was built to accommodate sixteen more young people and a resident manager family. This, too, is debt-free.
In a span of twenty five years, more than 300 young adults have made PMM their home away from home.