If you followed last weeks blog–we headed out from Idaho with Massachussetts and Rhode Island as our destination. We left with $45 from Idaho, two babies and a VW Van. After our adventure in the Rockies with the tire event we headed out on Monday morning. We had the $50 offering from the church who rescued us and a good nights rest in the pastor’s home because his family was away.
We journeyed on. Praying, praising and trusting His direction. Our next scheduled stop was Youngstown, OH where I would finally meet Darryl’s grandparents and other various relatives for the first time. About 150 miles or so from Youngstown we had a blow out. By God’s grace we were in front of a rest area and were able to change the tire. I remember Darryl laying his head on the steering wheel, asking the Lord, “are we going to make it?” Sometimes when you are choosing to obey, you expect things to be easy. You expect God to clear out the paths because you are following Him. It doesn’t always happen that way. We were tired and yes a bit hungry. We had food for our littles, but Darryl and were eating peanut butter on a spoon! It was like our manna in the wilderness.
With rush hour traffic and our gas gauge registering empty we finally pulled into his grandparents home. We were exhausted and had no money left, but we made it to a safe haven. His grandparents rushed out to meet us–excited to see him again after many years with a wife and great grand kids in tow! After the initial greetings, they told Darryl to go lay down and had myself and the girls in their car within about 15 minutes of our arrival! I was too overwhelmed to even say anything. We went to Woolworth’s where they bought clothes and goodies for the girls–then to Sparkles (a local chain grocery store) for Dum dums suckers. These wonderful folks were a bit old school about what they thought children should eat and how they should behave. We made it. The next day we visited other relatives. In God’s amazing economy and provision we were given “congratulations on your new baby cards” (she was sixth months old!) with cash included. Darryl’s grandfather bought us two tires, and as we left he gave us one of his homemade pizzas!
About two hours outside of Youngstown, Darryl noticed a problem with our van. I had just gotten our children to sleep so when he mentioned stopping I said, “on Lord, no!” Not another problem. I don’t want to wake them up. In my devotional study for the morning, I had came across this little scripture in 2 Corinthians 12:15. And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you…
This scripture challenges us to allow the Lord to use us, “spend us” as He sees fit for His kingdom’s sake. As we drove into the rest area (yes the girls did wake up) we watched God use our situation again for His glory and testimony. We were in the state of Pennsylvania. They had full time care keepers (watchers!) at their rest areas. He came and very abruptly wanted to know what was wrong (as Darryl opened the engine department). Darryl said, I don’t know, but God will help. The guy swore and gruffly asked are you a mechanic? Darryl said, No. As the man urged us to call a tow truck to get our broken van towed, Darryl just calmly prayed and asked the Lord to show him the problem. He noticed a silver threaded hole that should have had some sort of plug of sorts in it. It was missing. As he kept looking, down in the lip of the rubber gasket that kept the engine compartment closed was a little needle valve. The man stood there in awe. He really didn’t know what to say. That valve should have/could have fallen off miles before, but it didn’t. Darryl shared the gospel with the man. He didn’t respond, but he heard. God spent us for him.
We drove on. Made it to Providence and our ministry co-workers with $50 to spare! Release your faith to follow Him. Allow Him to spend you as He will. It may be inconvenient for your flesh, but your spirit will prosper. This trip changed all of us. The girls were too young to remember, bu they had heard the story and it builds their faith. Our obedience is not just for ourselves.