|The providence of God. That would be what characterized this entire month.
On Saturday, August 1st, while we were driving to St. Joseph, MO, the van suddenly stopped working. As you would push down the pedal, it would rev the engine but not accelerate, so we started losing power.
Initially, at this time, we were to be driving from Kansas to Southern California for a multi-day conference. Due to tightening regulations there, that meeting altered to just myself flying there. That changed lodging needs and opened up meeting slots that needed filling. Needless to say, that route has great stretches void of "life". And so I say, in the providence of God, we were not in the middle of a long drive to California; instead, we were right by an exit ramp; that exit ramp had a Honda dealership; we were able to coast/nurse the van to the service bay. When I think to all the "could-have-been's" - it could have been in the dead of summer heat, it could have been during late night hours, it could have been in a barren stretch of land... and it could have all happened at the same time, it makes it very easy to give God all the praise!
At the dealership, they assessed that the transmission had failed (over 286,000 miles). It would be a minimum of $4k out the door. Since that wasn't prudent, we mulled over vehicle options, mindful we still needed to get to Missouri. We did not want to be hasty in making a decision, so we asked for a courtesy vehicle to use over the weekend. Due to recalls at the time, there were none on the lot! They offered to shuttle us to Enterprise to get a rental. As we began to prepare for that, they realized that all the rental places were closed due to it being late Saturday afternoon! We were stranded, it seemed.
We were about 45 minutes away from the church, so I was getting ready to call and see if there was a way we could still make it. During that time, the man who had been helping us came over and said that a 2020 Pilot was just returned and that we could use it for FREE for three days as we traveled! Not only did we have excellent services there with Bro Marshall, but they also voted to give us a $1000 towards the vehicle issue as well as voted to support us!
On Monday, we headed back toward Topeka as well as to decide on the vehicle situation. In short, God worked it out so that they gave us a fantastic trade-in for our dead odyssey, and we got another one which we will be able to resell in 6 months and get most of the money back!
Every church we were in this month, God used to be an extreme blessing to us in different ways: some in meeting present needs, some in monthly support, some in start-up costs raised, and some with helpful insights about missions gained during conversations! I cannot begin to list them all!
We were privileged to be with the following pastors and their churches this month: Pastor Bill Marshall, Riverside Baptist Church, Pastor Carlos Serrano - Bible Baptist Church, Pastor Joe Decker - South Campbell Avenue Baptist Church, Pastor Chad LeMaster - New Life Baptist Church, Pastor Rocky Randall - Iola Baptist Temple, Pastor Joseph Brown - Marion Avenue Baptist Church.
Thank you so much for praying for God's favor on our family and in the churches we are visiting!