Saturday, November 1, 2008. We were enroute to a Harvest Day picnic with Calvary Baptist Church in Mannington, West Virginia. I was driving the van this trip. We were making good time.
I thought to myself how good it was to have the van back after having it in the shop recently with various tune-ups and complications. Along with having four coil packs replaced, we had the ceiling lights checked, a switch for the front blowers replaced (the last one blew a circuit this past summer), a brake light changed, as well as putting in a new windshield (the crack we had been trying to salvage just didn't pass inspection). Some extra money had been put into getting the van back into good running shape, and I was thankful that the problems had been resolved.
A few minutes later we heard a snap, and then the van suddenly sounded like a motorcycle. The last I checked, we had been driving a van, not a motorcycle! No matter which pedal I pushed, we still sounded the same. I managed to get it to a weigh station a short distance down the highway. Dad tried to check under the hood, but not seeing much wrong there, he decided to try to get to his younger brother's house in Fairmont. We were only a few miles from Dave Marshall's home.
Upon arriving, we met Aunt Polly, Uncle Dave's wife, who informed us that Dave was gone and may not be back for a while. At this point we began calling various people from Calvary Baptist to try to let them know that we were broken down and needed a ride to the picnic. We tried several different cell phone numbers along with the church number repeatedly, but no one answered. We were supposed to have met someone at the church at 11:30 and followed them to a farm where the picnic was being held. 11:30 came and went...
Between our frantic calls and searches on the internet, Aunt Polly served us hot tea and a small snack, then later made lunch for us. It was great to catch up with her on this "visit". She outdid herself with hospitality!
She suggested we could take Uncle Dave's hunting van. At first we didn't take her up on that offer...but after finding out where the picnic might be (with a little help from our Uncle Allen who knew someone who knew where a farm was that might be where they were...), we decided to try to find the place. We had learned that the name of the town was Metz. We unloaded a bunch of stuff from the back of Uncle Dave's old van, and loaded our P.A. and instruments in its' place. We looked pretty comical with two canoes on top, but hey! We were off to Metz...wherever that was.
Upon passing the sign for Metz--where we thought the picnic might be, Dad stopped to ask for help. Lo and behold, someone knew where that farm was! And of course, we made it there...just as the picnic was breaking up. The pastor met us on the way out and handed us our love offering. We hadn't done anything! But Pastor Lee Bowman takes good care of us whenever we come. He was understanding in spite of all the confusion.
There were still quite a bit of people there, and we enjoyed some good food, fellowship, and a little bit of music time with a small group of kids and adults. Even though we didn't make it for the picnic, we were still able to talk with a few people and (hopefully) encourage them.
Back at Uncle Dave's a little later on...Dad and Uncle Dave tried to work on the van. They finally decided to take it to a shop nearby, but once we were ready to go, the van refused to start. So Uncle Dave was gracious enough to take us home.
We were able to have it towed to a shop by a friend of Uncle Allen's, and the problem was found and corrected. Seems another spark plug had had it with the road life. Lord willing, the van will get us to the rest of our meetings this year. We remain (somewhat) hopeful.
We are asking God for another vehicle with low mileage that is winter worthy. Will you pray with us?
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