PART 1 JUST ONE DAY
**Please take special note of the length of time that it took us to find a truck! **
We left BYT at 5:30a.m., October 28 for the sole purpose of finding the right truck. This job seems insurmountable to me. Our handicaps are many. The biggest one- We don’t speak Thai!
Tucker and I go to MaeSot where we can have internet access to look at the trucks for sale, study the off road modifications that we need, and to be where there is dependable phone access.
I immediately shut myself in my small motel room and prayed a three part prayer:
1. “Oh, dear Lord, if You want us to be back in BYT quickly, please lead us immediately to the right truck that You have picked for us. I know others had to spend several months to locate something, but You know our needs and have supplied the money, so we thank you, and are fully trusting You in this matter whether it be a long or short time.”
Then I added:
2.”And Oh, dear Lord, also, please make it easy on us to find the right off road accesories and the mechanic to put it on for us! We don’t know anything, especially in this country. It all seems so impossible to me right now, but I know You already have the right plan and nothing is impossible with You. We are trusting in You!”
Then I thought of something else:
3. “Oh, and one more thing I just thought of Lord, please don’t let any of these things be in Bangkok. It is such a huge, scary, and wicked city, but Your will be done.”
I have a Thai friend in Chiang Mai who is checking around for me, but he cannot find anything. I have also contacted missionary friends, Mike and Marilee Kier in Ayutthaya, just north of Bangkok. They were busy, but so kindly worked on this project for me and found a few possibilities which they emailed to me. The first option looked great! Just what we want – a one year old Toyota Vigo, 4X4 off road, 3.0 diesel smart cab for a very low price! The picture they showed of it looked great! I called the contact number, but the truck had already sold!
“God must have something better for us than that even!” I told Tucker.
Mike and Marilee had also put us in contact with Danny and Sheany Pung who live in Khon Kaen, North East Thailand. To my amazement I discovered that they threw their whole heart, and mind into searching for the truck that we had described to them. I have never met them – never heard of them. They were not even home at the time, but were doing some work in Bangkok! I would wait until I heard back from them.
It is still October 28. I call BletJaw. We decide that this is a real “BIG” purchase and a huge decision – it cannot be rushed. So Tucker, BletJaw and I agree that we will wait in MaeSot where we can be reached by phone for 2 more days. If nothing shows up by that time we will hike back into BYT and tell Danny and Shaeny that we will not be able to be contacted for 2 weeks, but we will try again when we come out.
Pay attention to this!
Immediately after this, my cell phone rang. It was Shaeny. She sounded excited and said they had found the truck that we were looking for but it was 6 years old and cost too much! (Not really what we were looking for). Next they had tried to call Kanisorn, a young girl that works with her family in a car parts shop in the city of KhonKaen. She did not answer the phone just then because she was busy, but her father happened to receive the phone call and he hears about me and the expensive second-hand truck for sale. After this phone conversation he told Kanisorn:
“That is no good, the truck is too costly,why don’t you just get this lady a brand new Toyota truck with our dealer discount?”
(This is a huge miracle coming from him because he knows I am a missionary working for God and he greatly opposes Christianity. He hates it that his children are worshiping God as Seventh-Day Adventists, and makes life hard for them).
Now let me explain about the discount. The Toyota dealership has chosen their shop in KhonKaen, for a special award. They are allowed to purchase new Toyota vehicles at a considerable discount.
Sheany told me that the price of a brand new off road Toyota with their special discount only costs a little more than the 6 year old truck!! However, I must make a decision by 5 p.m. that very evening, because Kanisorn will be going out of town at that time and she needed to order it first, so it can be delivered to the KhonKaen location. I tremblingly felt the hand of God in it and knew He was answering my prayer quickly!
I called BletJaw back with this news and all three of us prayed and approved. The truck was ordered and arrangements made for us to be in KhonKaen on Monday, November 10 when Danny, Sheany and Kanisorn would all be there together! So in 30 minutes the decision was made on this truck and shortly thereafter, Konisorn ordered it!
It is a done deal. There are no papers signed, no money paid, no written agreement. I am taking the word of total strangers, committing to pay the price, and trusting them completely. (Obviously they are really trusting me too), Yet I have perfect peace in my heart.
BletJaw called me back on the phone and said:
“You know we are taking a big risk. I don’t know of anybody who would purchase a vehicle so far away without knowing anyone – just from a phone-call!”
“Humans would not do this, but I know God is in control. It is His directions we are following, not human directions. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours and so it is a safe path!” (See Isaiah 55:8,9)
IT IS ASTOUNDING! JUST THINK ABOUT IT! GOD REVEALED TO US WHICH TRUCK TO PURCHASE IN JUST ONE DAY!
PART 2: THE NEW TRUCK
Tucker and I take a bus to Chiang Mai Wednesday, November 5. I have an appointment at the US consulate office the next morning, because I need a notarized proof of residency in this country.
Sheany calls me and tells me that they had been trying to call me because the Toyota dealer needed 10,000 THB ($333)! in order to hold the truck for me until November 10, however, while I was in BYT they could not contact me. Kanisorn went ahead and paid the money herself!
Sheany is keeping close contact with me, she tells me to leave ChiangMai on the Saturday night bus, 8p.m till 6a.m., to KhonKaen so that I can be there the next morning. She said she knew I had a lot of energy so she had arranged for me to do worship for some of her friends that evening! I was delighted.
Upon arriving in KhonKaen and meeting Danny and Sheany, I knew the Lord had arranged this meeting! These people took us to their lovely home. They fed us all the fruits grains and nuts and vegetables that I had missed out on for the last 5 years in BYT!! They brought people over for me to give my presentation, 4 times. Among them were Kanisorn and some of her family.
Danny and Sheany are amazing to me. Both of them have extremely painful pasts. Through it all they have found God to be bigger than their past, and now shine forth like gold, reflecting Him.
This visit is certainly ordained of God because even greater to me than the purchase of a new truck, are the people around me. They were saying how amazing God is, because just when they were discouraged and not knowing what to do, we come and encourage them in the Lord! My joy knows no bounds!
November 10, 2014 is a day I shall never forget. We are taken to the Toyota dealer to get our truck. I have no paperwork to do, no money to pass through my hands. (It has already gone to Kanisorn). I only stare at the new truck. It is a “G” model, meaning it has all the fancy stuff on it. Steel wheels, navigator computer, back up camera, and things I cannot list here, and have never experienced before. Surely this is a state of the art vehicle.
I watch as it is driven off the show room floor – – – Am I dreaming? Is this real? I tremblingly slide in behind the steering wheel. Surely somebody else should be doing this, not me. But there is nobody else. I drive out into heavy rush hour traffic.
As always I can hear God’s voice telling me: “Go Forward!” How sweet and all-together-glorious is God?!
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with the whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9 I know this truck will go many places and save many lives.
That night Danny and Sheany invited the AFM missionaries to their house for me to show them my pictures and explain my work in BYT. They ended by praying for us outside by the new truck and dedicating it to God’s work!
These AFM missionaries asked me to have the divine worship in their church on Sabbath. This is the first time that I got to preach in a Thai church – How delightful!
The next day, Kanisorn, Danny and Sheany took us to the off road mechanic. We were able to order the parts and accessories that we needed, get good advice from the mechanic, and receive explanations about everything. We have to wait 4 days. There was no problem with communication because they all speak English. Praise the Lord! He has just placed everything in my lap, and answered all 3 parts of my prayer: For the truck, the off-road modifications, and we did not go to Bangkok!
Further-more, guess what?! The total price for everything to do with this truck, off-road stuff and all, is less than the amount that was budgeted and donated for it. How good is God? —Past finding out!
Danny and Sheany had to go to Bangkok again. They graciously gave us their home while we were waiting for our truck, and made sure there was plenty of food. I cannot adequately explain their kindness to us in words!
Kanisorn and her family are the reason that we can have this truck! Thank you so much all of you. My heart overflows!
Stay tuned: Coming up next: A picture of the modified truck! We don’t really know what to expect it will look like!!