STOP ENGINE! - was how our trip to the “Big E” fair began. After leaving South Carolina headed for Springfield, Mass., and just north of Charlotte, NC, the “stop engine” light appeared on the control panel of our motorhome. After managing to get our motorhome off the road into a safe area, it became apparent after checking several things I was not able to solve the problem. Praise the Lord the towing service we have an annual contract with arrived within an hour to rescue us. I unhooked our car and followed as the tow truck began towing our home back to Charlotte to a Cummins motor service center. It is a strange feeling watching your home being towed down the highway, lights flashing, at 9:00 p.m. at night.
As I watched our MH roll down the road on the back of this monster wrecker I was thinking to myself, “Ok God, what exactly is this all about.” While waiting for the wrecker crew to get us hooked up I was able to give a couple of “Smiley” tracts out, one to one of the wrecker crew and one to a truck driver. Both told me they knew the Lord and were sure they were saved.
We arrived at the Cummins service center which had been notified by our towing service that we were coming in, and to my great surprise, they were waiting for us and ready to get us back on the road as soon as possible. They worked on it past closing time (midnight), but could not cure the problems, so we slept in the motorhome at the service center and waited for the dayshift to get started on it. Well, by 4:00 p.m. the next day we were back on the road again. Praise the Lord!!!! & to our great surprise all of the work on the engine (over $500.) did not cost us anything, it was covered by a warranty I did not know we had. Later, as we traveled through the mountains I was praising the Lord that we broke down where and when we did, because with the problems we had, we would have never made it through the mountains and could have had much more serious problems dealing with the situation. God’s timing is always perfect!
But, that was not the end of God’s timing. Because of the breakdown, we were behind in our schedule and planned stops. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel to eat and park for the night (Cracker Barrel’s let RV’ers park overnight). As we ended our meal at about 9:45p.m. I asked the young man who had been serving us: “have you got your reservation yet?” He looked at me dumbfounded, and said “what?” I repeated the question and he continued to stare at me, not knowing what to say, and I said, “do you have your reservation in heaven.” He responded, “I’m not sure, but I hope so; maybe.” As I began to share with him how he could know, this young man (Justin) said, “I can’t believe this is happening, I can’t believe you are asking me about this now.” He continued, “If you only knew the things that have been happening to me, and here you are asking me this question right now. As he talked & opened the “Smiley” tract, reading the first page which says, “Do you feel like nobody really cares?” He said, “that’s right where I am right now, you just don’t know.” At that point I told him it was no accident we were there at that time, that we should not even be at this Cracker Barrel except we broke down 24 hours ago. God has “divine appointments,” and I told him this may just be one of those appointments. He then told us that in just the last 24 hours some major things had occurred in his life which really caused him to wonder what was going on. As we continued to share the gospel with him, he continued to shake his head stating, “I just can’t believe this is happening.” He said he understood what we were explaining to him about the assurance of eternal life by belief and confession of Christ. As I was about to ask him if he would like to take care of it right there, one of his co-workers broke up our conversation. But, before he left us, he expressed extreme thanks for our caring about him. He said he would seriously consider everything we told him and what he needed to do to assure himself a place in the kingdom of God.
God’s next “divine appointment” came the next day at a restaurant which served family style with other people at the table with you (this was the 2nd restaurant we would not have been at if it were not for the breakdown). By the end of the meal, a couple in their 60’s who had been in the Catholic Church all their lives began to ask Carol many questions about God when they found out we were missionaries. Both were searching for the truth, and had been very discouraged by the scandals which have gone on in the church. As we always do we did not focus on the problems of the Catholic Church, but on the truth of what the Word of God says about God’s plan for our lives, and how we can be assured of eternal life. Carol was able to share the gospel as this couple was anxious to hear the truth of the Word of God. By the end of the conversation, the woman wanted to travel from Pa. to Mass. to the “Big E” to hear more. We were able to give them a tract and encourage them to act upon what they had heard. The woman was so grateful for the conversation she gave Carol a big hug and wished us well on our mission trip to the Big E.
Please pray for this couple and the young man that they would act upon the truth they heard.
As we thought back on those two days, with the inconvenience of our motorhome breakdown we were praising God for the breakdown. God had directed us to 3 locations we would never have gone to share the gospel with people we would have otherwise never met (divine appointments). We also got repairs done which we had no idea were a problem at no cost. The next time God puts the STOP ENGINE light on in your life, “let the peace of God rule in your hearts”(Col 3:15 ) and look around and see what God is doing, He may to setting up a DIVINE APPOINTMENT for you to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.