Since most of my family is in America right now, the little girls and I have had quite the time getting to town to do our shopping. Our first trip with the truck went pretty well, until we came out of a store and tried to drive away. Instead of starting the way a truck should it said “click”. Click? What is that supposed to mean anyway???
Part of the trouble with having four boys and a brilliant husband is that I never had the need to learn mechanics. If fact, I never even checked the oil before! So, since the truck said “click” instead of starting like all good trucks should, I sent Esther, my 13 year old, out to check under the hood. She doesn’t know much about trucks either, but she tried to act like she did. She kicked the tires, wiggled some wires, checked the oil….what more is there to do anyway? So, I tried starting the truck again. It said he same thing….”click”.
By then, unhelpful people were beginning to stare wide eyed at this crazy foreigner with the very old truck. I had to do something! So, I got out, kicked the tires, wiggled some wires, and tried to look halfway intelligent. I then got confidently back into the truck, smiled at the onlookers, and tried the key….click.
What would you do in a situation like that? I did the only reasonable thing…I prayed….waited for God to fix it, then tried the key. The truck roared to life, and we were off. We were cautious though, and did not turn the truck off for the rest of the trip.
So, over two weeks later, we finally decided that starving was not a good alternative, so we gathered our stuff and made our way out to the truck. I will spare you the terrible details, but this time it would not start, no matter how hard I prayed! Jason seems to enjoy the challenge this truck gives him, but I really do prefer trucks that start. So here I was….in quite a predicament. We needed to buy food, but our truck would not cooperate. My only other alternative was the motorbike. So, I was forced to leave two of the girls alone at home, while the three of us headed to town, with big black clouds threatening a downpour at any moment.
Now, I did learn to drive a motorbike quite young in life, but one of my least favorite things to do is to take passengers with me. When I was nine years old and my dad was attempting to teach me to drive a motorbike, he was sitting on the back, and I promptly ran us both into the well house. Having such a traumatic event at such a tender age made me wish to permanently refuse all passengers. But, under these circumstances, I had no other choice.
On our way down the steep mountains, I was crying and praying. I may have to do crazy things, but I am not always that brave about them. I was telling God that I just needed some encouragement, and it would be so nice if it wouldn’t rain on us, even if it is rainy season.
Believe it or not, those heavy clouds did not rain on us at all….all day long! If fact, it turned out to be rather hot and sunny in town.
When we got to town, I went over to the church since Jason had left our trailer there when he left. I was amazed to see our pastor friend from Mae Sot there, along with our local pastor. Then another pastor came out of the house. He was from the Loma Linda area of California! He was so incredibly nice and encouraging. I knew right then that God sent him to strengthen me right when I needed it the most.
We then went and tried to do all the shopping so that we would not need to come back to town any time soon. Driving the motorbike is physically very challenging for me, and I knew I could not do it very often. But I was also careful not to overload the trailer since we have a very steep mountain to climb on the way home. But how much is “overloaded” anyway?
All went well on our return trip until I got to the first very steep hill….they don’t believe in doing 6% grades over here! I could tell that we were in trouble when the bike started to really slow down in first gear. So I thought I would try my husbands trick of swerving all over the road to keep from going down backwards. The only problem was that I am just not a good enough driver, nor was I strong enough to pull it off, and we crashed.
When the bike fell over, I rolled off and down the mountain, landing on my arm. I jumped up immediately to find out how the girls were. What I saw amazed me. Hannah was standing in the middle of the road, unhurt. Destiny was still sitting in the trailer, which had somehow unhitched itself from the bike….she was unhurt. And the trailer was sitting sideways in the middle of the road, and didn’t roll anywhere! I told Destiny to get out of the trailer just in case it did start to roll.
I don’t really understand the next part, unless you can say it was adrenalin, but I was able to pick up the bike, and get it to the side of the road, and then pull that trailer up to the top of the hill. How in the world I could do that when the motorbike couldn’t, seems like a miracle to me.
Next, I ran back down the hill to get the bike. But there was just no way I could get the bike going without crashing again. I cried out to God for help…I told Him that I just could not do it. Right then a motorbike roared up beside me. It was the only Christian guy in our village, with his wife and baby. He took one look at the situation and came racing to help me. Between the two of us, we were able to get the bike up the mountain. He then insisted on taking Destiny on his bike, and he followed me all the way home. It turned out to be a good thing too, since I crashed one more time in a very muddy spot. He was off his bike in a hurry and once again helping me to get it going again. During all this trouble, my motorbike only sustained a loose mirror….there were no other injuries on it that I could detect.
So tonight, although I am covered with scrapes, bruises and burns, I am one happy missionary. God does not always keep us from trials, but He does give us the help that we need to make it through them. I know for sure tonight that God loves me and is taking very good care of me. Both of my little girls were not even scratched, which is the greatest miracle a mother could ask for!