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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

the van

The date was March of 2001 and for the first time in sixteen years there was not a van parked in the turn around part of my drive way. It was a high top conversion type and wouldn't fit in the garage. We bought it new in 1985 when the girls were still in school and took many fun trips therein.

Memories rush back of trips to Florida, Myrtle Brach, Mississippi and the mountains - and it was one of these mountain trips that I seem to remember best. The occasion was our 25th wedding anniversary trip - a week in a condo in Maggie Valley, without children for possibly the first time since they were born.

With plans and reservations made we were on our way. Our trip and vehicle were going great until reaching the top of a long hill on I-40 just after crossing into N. C. and suddenly I heard a thump-bump bump-thump coming from the engine compartment. The dashboard warning lights came on like a large Christmas decoration and I knew pretty much what had happened before I pulled over and got out.

We were blessed that God had provided a very wide shoulder to pull off on and a quick look under the hood confirmed all my suspicions - one of the engine belts had broken, flipped under the other ones and pulled them off as well. So instead of four belts I had exactly zero – except for the piece of one that was wrapped around everything – and I was parked on the side of the interstate 8 or 10 miles from the nearest exit.

It was starting to look like an un-fun trip - but then some of God's provision started taking place. This took the form of a N. C. state trooper that stopped by about 5 minutes after I pulled over. He took me to a service station (just before they closed) where I purchased the belts and then he brought me back to the van.

I had the necessary tools to replace the belts and in an hour or so we were on our way again, leaving me with a feeling of accomplishment for having done the repairs and a large sense of amazement and gratitude at the way God provided.

What happened to the van? We donated it to the Salvation Army. ec


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