Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Of Long Journeys, Blown Head Gaskets and Unemployment Part One

Jasper Speaks:

So, it has been a while since I posted because we have just finally gotten back on the internet. So much has happened in the ten days or so since we left Maine. It is hard to know where to begin. On Sunday the 26th of December, we began moving our stuff out of the apartment. We soon realized that the truck we had rented from U-Haul was by far too small. The evil U-Haul company says on their website that you can move a three bedroom home in a 17’ truck. Let’s just say that is a bald faced lie! We ended up having to give away so many of our things and we had to leave behind a lot of things in our apartment. It was a very difficult thing to do but in that I do believe that God taught us a lot about how material possessions are simply things ad we can part with them.

Next, my friend Scott Chapman and I along with his son, Aaron (who is a senior in the youth group in Maine) headed out to Boston to pick up our friends Michele and Dennis who were flying in to drive back with us. Well that particular day in Boston was horrible weather wise. There was about 9 inches of sloppy snow and we were driving through it all as it came down. It was a mess. Michele and Dennis arrived safely but by the time the trip was over the usual 4 hour round trip to Boston had taken 8. What a mess! Scott is my personal hero for driving through all that junk just because he loves me! That night we spent the night at our friends’ Bob and Jen’s house. I didn’t care where we landed, I just was ready to sleep.

The next day we took in the sights with Michele and Dennis. They are fort people. They loved Fort Williams and Portland Headlight. We also took them to Bug Light so they got the New England lighthouse experience. It was fun. That evening we took off and as we drove out of Maine I cried like a little girl.I was openly sobbing for about an hour. Kendra was driving which was good because as we drove across the bridge in Portsmouth, NH, I was sobbing hard as I was leaving a youth ministry I loved behind. I was mourning the loss of the kids as well as the uncertainty that I would ever be a Youth Pastor again. It was a very difficult time for me. If I think too long about it now it still is, That night we settled down in Tewksberry, Mass and stayed at the Residence Inn and had dinner at Cracker Barrel.

The next morning the fun began. After checking the fluids in the van, the hood would not completely close. After many attempts to fix the problem, we ended up bungee cording it down and took off. As we traveled I had some more tears to work out. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be okay. We began a countdown with Michele and Dennis about how long I could go between crying episodes. It was a long day’s drive. I am so thankful that Dennis (who is an OTR truck driver) was there to drive the truck for us. Pennsylvania is a HUGE state and we saw a lot of it. Our destination that night was State College, PA. About thirty miles outside of there all of a sudden the van gets totally hot and Kendra (who was driving at the time) has to pull over. The smell of anti=freeze was heavy as we tried to restart it. Michele and Dennis joined us in the van. They called AAA because they had the gold membership and we only have the regular kind. We told them what mile marker we were at (Kendra is so observant of that kind of stuff) and they said that the Missouri AAA would call the PA AAA and the PA AAA would call us back and tell us when the tow truck would be there. The wait began. It was about 17 degrees out. We sat together quiet most of the time. After about a half an hour a state trooper pulled in behind us. He was like an angel God sent us. He called AAA again. He told us they would be there in about 45 minutes and that he had to go to another call. We were sad to see him leave us there alone on the dark cold highway.

Eventually a tow truck arrived. I rode over in it while the other three rode in the U-Haul. The town where the van got towed was about 15 minutes from where we were staying that night. So we all loaded into the cab of the truck and tried to head over there.

Now the four of us are all above average in the size department. So this was not easy to execute. Kendra had to ride the entire time straddling me (and not in the good way) with her butt in the windshield. She was crying the whole time and once told me I had made her life hell. Not a shining moment. It was difficult. We checked into the hotel at about 10:00 PM.

The next morning I called and they told me that I basically needed a whole new engine. So we moved the car off the tow and put the van on it. We showered the car with lots of prayers and after transferring all the stuff from the car to the van we continued our trip.

I will post more later since this is such a long update. Please pray for me if you read this before 2:00 PM CST on January 11. I have a job interview that could be a good fit. Thanks.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Back Online

Jasper Speaks:

I just got back online today. I will add more soon. I have so much to tell it may take a few messages. Still no job. Please pray that God will provide one soon.