Friday, March 31, 2006

Stories from deputation.

I will, from time to time, post stories from deputation as well. I would like to write them down here, so I will not forget them.

When we left for deputation, my children were 10,9,7, and 5. We spent 18 months traveling to churches throughout the country. During that time we saw the Lord work in many amazing ways!!

The First Week

Our first week out on deputation proved to be very eventful. My family and I sold our home and moved full-time into a motor home. I really did not have much of a choice in the matter. Living in Alaska, a place so far removed from the lower 48, a motor home was the best option for us. I purchased a 1993 Class C motor home. When I bought it, it only had 18,000 miles. The six of us learned to adjust to life in a small space. We went from 1900 square foot of living space to less then 200!

On our last day in Anchorage Alaska, the snow started falling. It was the first snow fall of the winter, and I knew I needed to get on the road and through the AL-CAN highway as quick as possible. It was October 11, 2001. After two meetings, one in Haynes Alaska and another in White horse Yukon, we headed out for the long drive through Canada. We had already driven through a lot of snow, but I was not ready for the blizzard that was coming. I left White horse very early in the morning. The snow was falling but not heavy. As the day went on, the snow was getting heavier and the road was hard to see. I was trying to go a fast as I could day as I knew I had a mountain pass to go through, and I wanted to get there before this storm closed it off.

As the daylight faded, it was almost impossible to make out the road. I simply followed faint tire tracks in front of me. Outside of those faint tracts there was no sign of any other vehicle. As we were getting closer to the pass, the snow was really falling. I would literally stop in the middle of the road, and wipe the snow off of the window, because the wipers could not keep up with it. No one was talking in the motor home. All eyes were watching outside. Keep in mind too, I am in the Yukon Territory at this time and there is no civilization around at all. As I got closer to the pass, I came upon another motor home which is stopped in the road. He is towing a vehicle behind him. I stopped and talked with the driver. He told me not to go up to the pass with out chains on my tires. He said he tried to go through the pass, but did not make it. He said he had to back down the pass!!!! I, however, really needed to get through. In spite of his council I decided to try and make it through the pass this night. I thought if I wait I will be stuck on this side for days, missing many meetings as a result. He also had summer tires on his motor home and was towing a vehicle. I had just put on brand new all-weather tires a few days before leaving Alaska, and I was not towing anything. As I started up, I was very worried the tires would start slipping. The snow was blinding. The higher we got, the fiercer the wind became. Visibility was just a few feet. I was driving around 10 miles an hour. My hands were gripping the steering wheel. I just started deputation and already my prayer life was improving. :) I was relieved when I started on a downhill stretch. I knew I had made it through the top of the pass. However, then my concern was loosing control of the motor home going down hill, on these very snowy, icy roads. About three quarters of the way down we came across a lodge, and we stopped there. I knew the worst was over and I would be able to continue on in the morning. The Lord had protected us and we made it through.

The next day was much easier driving, and after a few days of driving there was no more snow in sight. I had a meeting to get to in Winnipeg. It was a Thursday meeting, and it was looking like we would just make it in time for services, or so I thought.

About one hour out of Winnipeg, things were seemingly going well. My wife had just woken up from a nap, and my kids were quietly playing. Then I hear my oldest daughter shriek with fear. She screamed and screamed. As we were trying to ascertain what had happened, I notice my sons face is white. He had gotten into my tool box and took out the utility knife to remove something from one of my daughter’s toys. While trying to remove this, the razor slipped and cut his thumb. It severed his thumb almost completely off!!!

(I will continue this story tomorrow. Things will get worse before they get better, and then the Lord begins to work!)


BobinNC said...

I remember that story when you arrived to this part of the country. Funny how on Oct 11th you were worried about a blizzard and we did not see any snow here this year and if we do it is never until December. Remember the ice storm and no electricity for a week while you were here? In hind-sight I believe the Lord was preparing you for your life in PNG with all of the events/trials that you went through on deputation. I am sure, like Joseph, you did not at that time see the good in the trials you were going through but now can appreciate them. Hmmm, sometimes I need to look at my own statements and think abou them!!! :).

Great story, thanks again for sharing.

Terry McGovern said...

Yes, Bob, I very much remember that ice storm! I was the only one with power, since I had a motor home with a generator.

As I brought out in the follow up post, I agree, I do beleive the Lord was simply preparing us for PNG!