24 June, 2009

Car story

I've been meaning to write about this car we're being lent when we arrive in Australia. It's quite a story. The missionary lifestyle is a challenging one when it comes to things like cars. When we're planning to be in Australia for only one year what do you do about a set of wheels? We prayed and generally hoped someone might have a car spare that they'd lend us for a year. Strange? It happened last time, though it was my parents who were generous that time. After some time when we'd received no offers, we started to make some other plans. Other options - lease a car from a mission group in Sydney who do this kind of thing, or from another denominational group who had some smallish cars available. But nothing stood out as a really good option. Especially for a family with three boys who'll be travelling with extra deputation stuff to tote around. A little aside here to explain an extra complication. We're flying to Cairns, not our final destination, Brisbane. Our logic for this is not the shorter flight, but so that we can have a little bit of holiday time and then visit family members in Central Queensland on our way to Brisbane. Of course, to do this we need a car. Initially our plan was to hire a car, this proved to be an expensive option. Eventually our homeside ministry team suggested we could buy a car through an agent they had experience with and they'd sell it for us after we left. Interesting idea. We explored it and it seemed feasible, especially as our savings are gradually building up in Australia when we're not there to use it. We even flirted with the remote idea of finding a car in Cairns to buy. Then, with only a couple of weeks to go a friend popped up and said, "I have a van that is surplus to our needs, I want to sell it before October, but you can use it until then." The phrase that particularly caught our attention was, "I could even ship up to Cairns if that is cheaper than hiring a car up there..." We suspended our packing mid-box and quickly asked some important questions. Especially, about the option of buying the car ourselves. It seemed like a good deal, especially if it could be sent to Cairns at less than renting a car would cost. Last week when we went away to conference, we waited for news about whether our friend had been able to get a train 'seat' or even a truck to take it up. We waited in vain. Nothing. Then the day we came home after driving five hours, we dropped by the house to pick up some food and suitcases and found a general email sent by our friend around our home church network asking if someone could drive the car up! A long shot. But we were praying. The next morning when we eventually got back to the house for the final days of packing, amidst myriad boxes and the filth that comes when you disturb things that shouldn't be disturbed, I got an email to say that a (mostly) retired couple from our home church would drive the van up and had already booked their flights home. They even planned to meet us at the airport up there with the car that they'd driven 2000km, just for us! We stopped mid-box again. Such generosity! In the middle of the disordered mess that our lives had become last week, our heavenly Father was taking care of our needs.

1 comment:

-J said...


He IS good!