Sunday, October 12, 2014

Days 41 & 42 - If we had to be broke down...Eldorado was a GREAT place to do it!

Well on Saturday morning we all woke up a little discouraged, the bus wasn't "healed" over night and we couldn't find a mechanic who was open to come look at it. Mid morning a mom and two boys (the Sullivan's) randomly pulled through the parking lot and stopped to ask us if there was anything they could do for us. Katie asked if there was a laundry mat nearby and the mom offered her OWN laundry room which was only about two blocks down the street. She also told us a few local mechanics to call and said she'd help put out word to the local churches!
From then on things began to change.....we were encouraged by their kindness and willingness to help. We started to look around at all of the positive things. This bus had actually broken down in a GREAT place. We are parked right on the courthouse square which is shaded with picnic tables and a great place to play or ride bikes, there ARE power hookups, there's water with only about a 50 yard walk, a grocery store within walking distance. The people here in town were "warned we were coming" in the local paper on Wednesday so just about everyone knew why we were here and were friendly. (Even the county judge dropped by to check on us!) We could literally throw a rock and hit 3 churches. AND the Sullivan's had offered free place to do laundry!!
Around 11am a local mechanic came out and looked under the bus and told us that indeed one of the rear airbags was busted and he could not fix it. Finally about 2pm we got ahold of another mechanic who said he COULD fix it, but couldn't get the part needed until Monday. SO at least we knew we were here until Monday. We were a little bummed that we weren't going to make it to our next destination in time for church the next day, but we were content that God put us here for a reason.
A little later in the afternoon the Sullivan boys rode down on their bikes and asked CJ if he wanted to ride a bit with them. Of course he jumped at the chance. The mom told Katie to come on down and do laundry and even came and got her in their minivan so she didn't have to lug the basket down 2 blocks. Katie and CJ ended up staying and socializing the entire afternoon. The boys played and the mom's talked. At supper time we ran down to the local grocery and picked up a few items then came on back to the bus.....all with a Sullivan chauffeur!
Once we made it back to the bus we got in touch with one of the pastors at the church where we were supposed to be on Sunday (Menard Cowboy Church). We had already let them know earlier in the morning that we were broke down and may not be able to make it, but when we called back they said they had already put out word to a lot of their people that'd we'd be there so they offered to come and get us (50 miles one way!) so that we could be at church with them Sunday morning. We were very grateful and excited to be able to go to a "Cowboy Church"!

Sunday morning we woke up ready to go for a long ride to church. Pastor Jim and his wife Kathy came and picked us up in their truck, but could only seat 4 of us so Craig stayed here in Eldorado with Corban and Caedmon and Katie, Kenadi, CJ and Caleb went to Menard. Craig and the boys here went to church with the Sullivan's and the pastor here allowed Craig to speak during the announcement time and told everyone what we were doing. A family invited he and the boys out to lunch and several folks gave donations! Meanwhile, CJ and the rest of the crew went to church at Menard Cowboy Church where CJ was able to share his whole testimony and story of his "rides for a reason".  The Cowboy Church meets in a barn with dirt floors and the people come dressed in their Cowboy clothes....because most of them ARE real Cowboys! Even the little boys came decked out in their boots and spurs! It was super cool!
The people of Menard Cowboy Church were so sweet and genuine and the presence of the Holy Spirit was truly felt! Their donations were amazingly generous and God even worked out a place for us to stay for the next two nights while we were there at church.  After church Jim and Kathy took that crew out to eat as well then drove them BACK to the bus in Eldorado (another 50 mile drive one way). When we got back to the bus the weather was gorgeous, so we sat out under the shade trees at the picnic tables and fellowshipped for another little while. Jim and Kathy were such sweet folks! At 83 years old (you'd never know it to look at him), Jim even got out and ran and tossed the football with boys on the yard. I honestly think Caleb MIGHT have just stayed with them!
Just as Jim and Kathy were leaving the Sullivan boys rode up on their bikes. The oldest invited CJ to come to youth group with him and the younger invited Corban and Caleb over to play. Katie, Caleb and Corban spent this afternoon again over at the Sullivan's hanging out, playing, popping REAL popcorn on the stove, and talking. CJ went to youth group. While everyone else was gone, Craig, Kenadi, and Caedmon had a little bit of peace on the bus and managed to figure out if the heat works on this thing! (Turned out the only heat that works is in the bathroom lol) We want to shout out a BIG thank you to Jim & Kathy for coming ALL the way to come and get us for church this morning AND for brining us back! Another HUGE thank you to the Sullivan's!! Thanks for opening your house and hearts to us! You were such a HUGE blessing to us while we've been here in Eldorado!!

We are praying that tomorrow the mechanic will be able to get the airbag that is needed and get the bus rolling again. Craig and CJ plan to ride on to Menard (same place we went to church today). We are all in awe of God's timing and provision!

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