Tuesday I wrote about some of our early experiences while preaching in Arkansas. We were driving our old 1984 Plymouth Reliant station wagon when we first preached revival at Old Center and the other churches in southwest Arkansas.
We drove the Plymouth from June of 1990 to about April of 1991. I wrote a few weeks ago a bit about how we acquired the Plymouth. We drove it over 50,000 miles in ten months preaching revivals in whatever state and whatever church called us to come.
They were memorable miles too. The Plymouth stranded us more than once alongside the road while traveling between churches. I would say that it probably stranded us more than any other car that I can think of at the moment. Two of those times happened in Arkansas.
We were at Old Center when the Plymouth started making an intermittent growling sound near the front wheel. I mentioned it to one of the men at church that was kind of mechanical and he said it was probably a CV joint. I had no idea what a CV joint was at that time, but he directed me to a shop just west of De Queen, Arkansas.
The first thing the next morning I was pulling into the shop that he told me about and the car quit moving forward and I coasted out of the way. The engine was running fine, but it was like the car was in neutral.
One of the mechanics that worked there was following me into the entrance. He pulled up next to me and I told him what happened. He got out, walked back to the entrance and picked up a handful of ball bearings and brought them back to me. He said that one of my CV joints bit the dust!
I did not know a soul in that place, but about an hour or so later the CV joint was replaced at a reasonable price and I was on my way praising and blessing God back to the camper where my family was waiting for me.
That part could have died anywhere along the road miles away from help or a phone, but it happened at the best possible place! Hallelujah!
We were at another church in Arkansas that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent. I met this Pastor at another meeting and he asked me to preach a two week revival for him. Hallelujah Again! We were thrilled to do it and we arrived at the appointed time.
The church consisted of the Pastor and five women, four of the women were elderly. I think the fifth woman in the church was the only person young and healthy enough to actively worship and participate in a visible way in the revival. She was also the only person in the church that was gainfully employed.
Just like now, we did not concern ourselves with the possibility of there being an offering at the end of the meeting OR the lack of possibility. We jumped in the very best we could and did our best to be an instrument of revival in that little church.
We had some visitors to revival from other churches that helped tremendously in the services and we have never forgotten their kindness. We also had some wonderful altar services during those two weeks.
Near the end of the second week, we made a stop on the way to church at Walmart and the Plymouth would not start again. At first, I thought it was the battery. It was weak, but the reason it was weak was that the alternator had quit.
I walked around to the automotive at Walmart and met a nice young mechanic that was glad to help me. After a few tests, he agreed, the alternator was dead.
He went inside to check on prices and then came out with bad news. The alternator for that model was pretty expensive. However, he had called the local parts place in town and they had the exact same alternator with a different pulley for about 1/4 of the price.
All I had to do was buy that alternator, bring it back to Walmart and the mechanic would exchange the pulley with the bad alternator and install it on the car. Yay!
It was only 3-4 miles to the auto parts store, but I was trying to figure out how I would get there and back and still have time to get to revival. The man tossed me his keys and told me to take his car. I could hardly believe it!
By the time I returned, Walmart Automotive had closed, but the mechanic had removed the old alternator from my car in the parking lot and was ready to make the pulley exchange and install the new alternator.
He finished in a few minutes. He did recommend that I change the old battery since it was several years old. I bought the cheapest one Walmart had. Since he worked on our car on his own time AFTER Walmart automotive had closed, said there was no charge. He would not take a penny for his labor.
We did not have enough money in our pockets or in the bank for the battery or the reduced price alternator. We did have the envelope of offerings from the two weeks of revival. We try not to spend offerings until we are finished with revival, but we broke our rule that day.
I do not remember the exact amount, but I do remember distinctly that the cash we paid for the battery and the alternator was the exact amount we had in the envelope, right down to the dollar!
We left the Walmart parking lot and drove to straight church. We arrived just in time for church to begin and we shouted our way into the door that night! Praise God for His divine protection and His divine provision! He Is An On Time God, Yes He Is!
In the nearly 30 years since those events, we have been blessed to pass along that young man's kindness to many other people in similar and probably more difficult circumstances. But it seems that God will not allow me to get ahead of Him in the giving department.
The words of Christ are true!
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
It sure is exciting to work in the service of the King!
Thank you for stopping by Mile Markers today.