Mid-January for much of the United States typically means cold temperatures and snow. My buddy, Coco, and I were a few hours past the halfway point on our 2-day trek from Kansas to the East Coast. I had driven 12 of the total 20 hours and was getting VERY sleepy. I saw a cluster of lights at the next exit. I pulled off I-70 a little bit north of Dayton, Ohio, and found a vacant parking lot. I decided to leave the truck idling because of the cold. I leaned the seat back and fell blissfully asleep. I awoke to a wet doggie tongue on my face. Then I noticed the absolute quiet and the numbing cold. The truck had run out of fuel in one of the 2 tanks. I flipped the switch to change to the second tank, which was full, and tried to start the truck. It wouldn’t start!
For hours I tried everything I could think of to start the truck. It would not start. It was getting dark, the temperature was very cold (-6°F or -21°C) and I was exhausted. I grabbed a sleeping bag and a king-sized comforter from the bed of my truck and began setting up a place on the rear bench seats for Coco and me to stretch out. I had to move a few things to make room for our little nest. As I leaned over the seat, I guess I put too much weight on my rib-cage. I heard (and felt) a rib crack. I must have passed out because the next thing I remember was Coco barking. She had gotten way too cold. I quickly put her down into the sleeping bag. Our combined body heat kept us warm enough to sleep till morning.
A new list of challenges awaited when the sun came up – not only was the truck dead, my phone was dead, too! I had no way of searching for a mechanic or a motel. I could see a few businesses down the road but snow covered the ground and high winds were whistling around us. I was afraid Coco would freeze to death if I left her in the truck while I wandered around, trying to find someone who would help us. I finally remembered my tablet! I got a message to Brenda Zarska back in Kansas. She found a mechanic and a motel. Carol Zarska, on the East Coast, arranged payment and by afternoon, Coco and I were warm and dry!
The mechanic got us back on the road the two days later. I felt the Lord’s presence throughout the trip. He never promises an easy road but He promises never to leave us. Coco and I finally made it to Carol’s house in West Virginia! The truck still leaks fuel all over the place when it’s running so I don’t use it. My rib is healed now but I’m still having some back pain as a result of the trauma to my rib-cage and vertebrae. Though the Evil One hurls roadblocks at us, God is able to triumph, if we but ask. I am even more determined to continue my Journey to Kenya. I want to support the community of Christians there who are eager to learn more about our Savior! Let’s continue this journey together! Our Kenyan brothers & sisters are waiting…
P.S. Coco seems to consider it her job to nurture each person who comes up the mountain for prayer meeting and church. I must tell you that she especially loves potluck!