I am writing this from North Platte, NE, where my King has been doing amazing things. I left Billings Friday morning (May 27th) headed for the Our Generation Student Leadership camp in Dayton, TN and then to spend the month of June visiting churches in the area. The car ran great and I made it to Ogallala, NE that evening. It was a pretty wet night and so when I got up the next morning and found that my car was running a little rough it did not surprise me. It often does that in humid weather. I packed up my gear, tent and all, and headed down the road. I had gone only about an hour when it happened…
I was passing a semi, there was traffic behind me and in front me and suddenly my engine cut out, the check-engine light came on and that was it. By God’s grace I had enough speed to finish the pass and get off onto the shoulder of the road. And that was the end of my little car. Or so it seemed.
It appears that the timing belt went bad and took the water pump with it. The type of engine that is in my car has a tendency to be rather “done in” when this happens. But God has done some wonderful things. First, he got me off of the side of the road! My phone was not working too well, but I was able to get a hold of my parents who were able to look up a tow and mechanic. They came and got me. From there I called a friend who lives about 90 miles from North Platte, not knowing that my parents were calling local churches to try to find a place for me to stay. Due to the lack of cell service, things began to get a little confusing. A friend of my friend who has a cabin in the area and who was here for the weekend, came and picked me up at the Flying J where the mechanic had dropped me off. They took me home and I found myself in a very interesting situation. How is it that you break down on the side of the road and end up spending the day at the lake?! God is so good! The family that I stayed with in the afternoon was having a birthday party for their daughter and had many friends over, they were all very kind and welcoming and were a huge blessing!
Sometime in the afternoon, I was able to get in touch with one of the pastors that my Dad had been in touch with. He was on his way home from a trip and would be passing by the area, so his family came and picked me up and took me home with them. Pastor Butch Crawford and his wife Dawn have a wonderful family! It has been such a blessing to stay with them and their children. It was a blessing to be able to go with them to church at Heritage Baptist Church on Sunday as well as Wednesday evening.
One of the men in the church has been such a blessing. Using much of his holiday to help find a new engine or possible trade and purchase of a different vehicle. Monday afternoon I got a call from my parents that surprised me greatly. A friend had come by the house with a gift to help out with the situation. The Lord had laid it on this lady’s heart to give $2000 toward getting “unstranded” as my mom put it.
We began looking for another vehicle at that point because it seemed a better, potentially quicker option. But we just didn’t seem to find anything. We test drove a Nissan that a man had just done some work on and was looking to sell, but I was not comfortable with the nearly 242,000 miles that it had already turned. Wednesday morning my Dad called a local salvage yard and found out that they had an engine that would work for only $525! It turned out that the engine only had 88,000 miles on it and was only a year newer than mine. The mechanic with the Nissan was also available to start installing it yesterday afternoon!
God is so good! We have seen Him working step by step all week long. The Crawfords have been a huge blessing. When I think about all the things that could have happened on Saturday and all of the things that God did instead I just keep thinking, What a blessing to be “stranded” in God’s Faithfulness!
Lord willing, the car will be ready sometime Friday and I will be heading on to Tennessee. I am excited to see what He does on the remainder of the this trip.
“Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it!” I Thessalonians 5:24
PS Before I got this posted we found out that the engine was the wrong size (a 2.4 instead of 2.0), but the Lord led the mechanic (whether he knows it was the Lord or not) to another engine that is a 2001, not sure how many miles yet. It was still in the car so they had to pull it yesterday (Thursday), so we are a little behind the schedule that we thought we were on. But the Lord is still faithful. He is, after all, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End – He knows where I am, where I need to be AND WHEN! 🙂
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because He trusteth in Thee, Trust ye in the Lord Jehovah for in Him is everlasting strength!” Isaiah 26:3