So, in one of my more recent posts (yes, I know "recent" isn't really a good word when describing my previous posting) I was talking about the stories from deputation when I was a kid. Well, we've been on the road now, for almost nine months and we've already got some good stories of our own. Let me preface this by saying, though, that we have not had any really bad experiences on deputation so far. We've really enjoyed our time on the road... except for the tiny car that we have... but otherwise, it has been really exciting so far and we've really been blessed by the people we've met and churches we've been able to attend. With that said, our stories are pretty much just our goofs and such. I'm gonna start with the "oops" because, I mean, who are we kidding, that's the part everyone enjoys anyways!
For the most part, our one year old daughter has been pretty good at this travelling thing. Not every little kid would do so well in such an ever-changing environment. She pretty much goes to anyone, she loves exploring new churches, and she even does ok in the car... eh, it's really 50-50 in the car, if I'm being honest. She also has gotten to where she will eat almost anything. Which is a huge blessing, because let's face it, I can't lug a bag of frozen chicken nuggets with me everywhere we go. However, the eating almost anything can pose a bit of a problem. For instance, we were at a pastor's house recently and she had made chicken casserole and green beans and rolls, all of which are things our little girl will eat. And, oh boy did she eat! Mostly, green beans because those are her favorite. She ate lots of green beans and drank lots of tea... don't judge me for giving my child sweet tea. Then, while the pastor's wife was getting dessert for us, it happened. I can't explain exactly how it happened, but it did.... all over her, and the highchair, and the floor. All of those green beans and all of that tea came back! I have never seen so much come out of my daughter. So, both me and my husband are standing there trying to make sure she's not choking on the green beans that she apparently never chewed, and at the same time trying to somewhat control the mess. A useless effort, I know, but when you're in someone else's house, well.... You have to at least try. She finally stopped and I took her to the bathroom for a bath (yup, it was to that point) while my hubby and the pastor's wife cleaned up the mess. While it was incredibly embarrassing, it was one of the situations where there wasn't really much we could do, but apologize. It helped that this wasn't our first time we had met this pastor and his wife and they both really love our daughter. I mean, he is the same pastor that has given her a bag of Hershey's kisses all of the three times that we have been in a meeting with him. So, I think it's safe to say they are sort of taken with her.
The next "oops" also involves baby girl, but I really don't think we can blame this one on her. So, we are getting ready to leave a pastor's house to head back to the hotel for the afternoon and it's like a monsoon outside. Hubby tells me just take the stuff and get in the car, he's got the kid. So, we run out to the car, I get in on my side and he puts our daughter in the car in the back, but goes to get in up front before her buckles her in so that he doesn't get completely soaked in the process. Now, for the record, we did have an umbrella, but it was raining past the point of holding an umbrella over him while he put her in the car. We both would have ended up soaked in the process. Ok, so we're in the car and he turns around to buckle her in. Well, we have a car with a manual transmission, and if you know anything about that, to park the car you put it in neutral and put on the emergency brake. Somewhere, in the whole process of getting in and turning around he bumped the emergency brake... and we started to roll.... right into the pastor's car. Hubby was facing backwards and saw that we were moving, and so he jerked around and fumbled for the brake, but it was too late. We were already bumper to bumper with the other car. Immediately, we both start sweating. Hubby backed the car up, and wouldn't you know it, somehow in the couple of feet we rolled forward, we managed to leave three little black marks on the back of the pastor's nice silver sedan. What do we do? High tail it outta there and say "well guess they're not gonna support us"... No, I'm just kidding. He went back up to the house and told the pastor what had happened. What we didn't know was that those three little black marks had already been there. Apparently, the pastor's wife had been rear ended in a grocery store parking lot a while back, and the damage that we thought we did was really from that incident. The pastor and his wife did however get a good chuckle out of the whole thing. Oh, and did I mention that this was the same pastor from the first oops?? Yup, same house where our daughter threw up all over their kitchen. Somehow, someway, that church did actually take us on for support and we are still friends with that pastor and his wife, although for the rest of the time we were there, we made sure not to park behind their car. In all seriousness, we really praise the Lord for couples like them. They have been a huge blessing to us the few times we've been with them.
So, that's the "bad" and the "oops", but here's the good; and this is actually my favorite deputation story so far. I grew up as a preacher kid and a missionary kid, and I'm sure things like this happened to us back then, but it's so different when you're the adult and it's happening to you first hand. We were on our way back home from a missions conference, and we were only about forty-five minutes from home when we heard a loud noise in the front of the car and one of the dash lights came on. We drove a little further while my hubby checked the brakes and the clutch and everything seemed to be working properly. We hadn't even gone a mile when we stopped at a stop light. When the light turned green and we started to turn, we realized the loud noise was something that had popped our front right tire and that it had gone completely flat when we stopped at the light. So we pulled out of the middle of the intersection and into the first parking lot off the road. My husband got out and went to unload the trunk so he could get out the spare tire. Before he could even open the trunk, a utility truck pulled in the little lot next to us. The driver hopped out and asked if we had a flat. The guy just so happened to own a tire shop down the road and he had just been out on a call to fix another flat. So he just so happened to have everything he needed with him to fix our tire. It turned out that we needed a new tire because that one was too worn to fix, so he called up his shop and he just so happened to have a used tire that we needed and he had one of his guys come deliver it. Now, how many times have you broken down on the side of the road and had your car completely fixed and ready to go again in under thirty minutes. Well, that's what happened. He had everything done in under thirty minutes and we followed him back to his shop to pay him for the tire. He didn't charge us for anything but the cost of the tire because like I said earlier, he just so happened to already be out on call to fix a tire. During the course of all this, my hubby spent some time talking to him and was able to wtiness to him some. The man shared some of his story with my husband and new he needed to get back in church. Now, this is my favorite, favorite part! You know all of those "just so happened to be's"? Those weren't really a "just so happening". Those are the parts where it was obvious that God had a certain person, in a certain place, at a certain time; and the point where I felt like God was just making it obvious was when the guy found out we were missionaries. When he found that out he told my hubby "oh, that's neat. My parents named me after someone in the Bible. My name is Gabriel". Did you read that right? Yep, his name was Gabriel. When I heard that I just got a big ole grin on my face, and as soon as my hubby came over to talk to me I about shouted, "Did you hear that?!? God sent Gabriel to fix our car!!!". We spent the rest of the way home praising the Lord, and just marveling at how amazing God is. God has always taken care of us, but that day we just felt like He was making it very clear to us that we didn't need to worry, because even in a little town in the middle of nowhere in Alabama, He was still right there. He always will be right there during the good, the bad, and the oops.