Six Years of Bliss and Craziness Part 2 -
On the Friday after the conference was over we packed up the van and got ready to head home. Right as we were buckling the last kid into the last car seat it started to rain. But the time we were about to get on the interstate we knew that there was no way we could go any further. It was raining so hard we couldn’t see out the window and the wind was pushing our van so hard we were scared it would get pushed right off the road.
We decided to head back to the bible college, but because of the rain we missed the sign to turn. Nate tried to turn around, but we just slid in the mud onto the side of the road and got stuck.
So there we were, stuck on the side of the road in pouring rain with our 6 kids in a van up on two wheels with the other two wheels stuck in the mud. We were scared the van might roll if the rain did not stop soon. Our phone was not working (again!) so Nate took off his shoes and ran about a mile in the pouring rain and mud, to the bible college to go get help.
I was left to try and keep 6 little bodies from wiggling around. I really thought that if they moved at all we could roll the van. The kids and I all took turns praying and I must say it was one of the best prayer times I have ever had with my kids. After about twenty minutes of praying together our prayer meeting turned into a tooting contest and the kids were having the time of their life! They had no idea how bad the situation was.
My friend Talisa drove by and tried to come to our rescue, but much to our despair she also slid to the side of the road and got stuck.
After awhile Nate and a friend came with a tractor. After lots of prayer, and few more times almost rolling the van we were free!
We spent another night at the bible college and on Saturday morning we were on the road again.
Everything went as planned for the first few hours and then the van broke. We found a mechanic, and after 3 hours of waiting we were back on the road again. We thought that the van was running fine, but out of nowhere the gaslight turned on. We pulled into an abandoned gas station and asked an old man how far until the next gas station. The guy told us about 26km.. He said that he had some gas and Nate went with him to help him get it. As soon as Nate left I locked all the doors and told the kids to be quiet. Right as I locked the last door I look up and stared straight into the eyes of one of the sketchiest dudes I have ever seen. I really don’t know what it was about him, but the way he was looking at us just made my skin crawl. The guy kept staring and called for another guy from inside the building to come out. After the second guy came out he called for a third. I didn’t know what to do but pray that my husband would come back quickly and that the Lord would keep us safe.
After a few minutes Nate did come back and I knew that something was wrong. He looked totally shaken up and was only speaking to me in Portuguese. The only time he ever speaks to me in Portuguese is when he doesn’t want people to know that we are American. The old guy poured some gas into our van (while smoking, yikes!) and we took off!
As we were driving away I asked Nate what happened. He said that after he went behind the gas station the old man took him to a room to get the gas and when he walked into the room there were 15 guys all with their shirts off sharpening some big sticks with huge knives and machetes. Nate said that when he walked into the room they all looked up and stared at him like they were going to kill him, but for some reason they didn’t.
I was surprised to see my husband so shaken up. I mean yeah, it was scary, but we have had so many other crazier things happen! I have lost track of how many times drunk or stoned people have come to our house in the middle of the night. Some have brought guns, some knives, some angry with other people, some angry with us, but none of those felt quite so heavy. Anyway, we knew one thing – the Lord protected us!
Maybe those three guys that were staring at the kids and me saw six scary looking angles instead of six little kids and decided that jumping us would not be a good idea. We will never know how or why but the Lord hand His hand on our family and He kept us safe. ☺
The bad gas got us a few miles up the road and the van died again. Once again we prayed, and once again Nate had to leave me and the kids on the side of the road to run and find some help. He found a farmer up the road, and after lots of begging from Nate the farmer agreed to give Nate a ride to the gas station. Nate returned with the gas and we were on the road (again!). We found out that there was something wrong with the gas line because we were using over twice the amount of gas than we should have needed.
At some point in the day Nate and I realized that it was October 16th, our six year anniversary! We laughed a lot when we remembered. Never in a million years would I have thought that we would be spending our six-year anniversary on the side on the road somewhere in South America with our 6 little kids!
As I look back on the crazy trip I am thankful. I am thankful for the Lord’s protection, His provision, and His opportunities. We were able to share Jesus with three people that day- the mechanic, the farmer, and a gas station worker. Who knows what the Lord will do with those little seeds in the years to come. Plus, I had the opportunity to sit with my sweetie for 16 hours talking, laughing and looking back on all of our memories that we have had in the last 6 years of bliss and craziness!!