May 18, 2015

The adventures of *Bubba

*Name altered to protect the identity*

A tale of God's provision, the rallying of His people, and how HE ultimately wins the battle over the enemy . . . .  

Cliff notes. God is moving. Encouragement abounds.  
Borrowed car. Stolen. Body of Christ rallies. Stolen borrowed car found. God wins.  Happy dance.

The details.


Once there was a missionary family headed to the states for fundraising.  They needed a vehicle to drive and asked their church to post their need in the church bulletin, in case anyone had a vehicle to offer up, sparing the missionary family huge fees for a rental car for 6 weeks.  Several gracious people came forward and offered to let the family drive their car while they were in the states.  

The missionary family humbly and ecstatically made arrangements to collect the vehicle to drive, and thanked the Lord for such gracious and generous people from their home church. The vehicle, a comfortable and much loved suburban by its owner, was named Bubba.  Bubba could easily and smoothly contain the missionary family and all of their supplies and missionary paraphenelia for sharing about Makarios. 

The missionary family traveled all over the place to and fro in Bubba.  They covered a lot of tracks in Bubba sharing about Makarios International and all that the Lord is doing in the Dominican Republic, inviting others to join in on all the goodness that is part of being a servant for the Lord (which can be done from anywhere!). Go-ers and Senders working together as one to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and to sometimes use words, Bubba took them to churches and appointments and shopping for all of the supplies that they would need for the next year.

In preparation for changing locations, the missionary family loaded Bubba up with all of their supplies that they had purchased over the last 6 weeks to take back to the Dominican Republic for the next year: homeschool curriculum, mosquito spray, anti-diarheal meds, feminine hygeine products, and other VERY exciting goods.  They set off to share more about Makarios at an amazing church called Sagemont in Houston, TX.  

The missionary family was SO encouraged by how interested others were about all that the Lord is doing on the island that they love - and that the Lord most certainly loves too! God's people were responding in such beautiful and gracious ways, the missionaries were elated and left the church building feeling so loved on and encouraged. 

They headed to lunch with a group of amazing people where they laughed and talked and ate from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on a sunny, Sunday afternoon. Then they gave hugs to last for the next year until they would hopefully meet again.  The families spread out thru the parking lot and filled their cars with their loved ones and pulled out of the parking lot. Smiling, the missionary family, walked towards where Bubba had been parked . . . Bubba? Bubba? Where are you?  Bubba. Was. Gone.  No, it was not that moment where you just forget which isle you parked on. Truly, Bubba was indeed no where to be found.  

Oh that sinking feeling of being violated numbed the missionary family into slight confusion momentarily, until some of their friends, the Mills family, who they had enjoyed a meal with came to the rescue - quite literally. Rescue in this case = moral support, practical help, giving missionary family a ride home which was an hour away, borrowing a vehicle for the missionary family to ride in to get back to Dallas, giving the missionary family a ride to Dallas, etc!   The Mills family helped the missionary family figure out what to do - # for the police department, address for the restaraunt, etc. and they graciously sat with the missionary family and encouraged them throughout the process.  The Mills family called in prayer reinforcements from Sagemont church and many people were praying for the situation. As it turns out, this time with the Mills family was the beginning of a divine appointment where God would show Himself in mighty ways.

But back to Bubba -  who was gone, gone, gone - the missionary family had to call the owners of Bubba and let them know that he went a missing. It was NOT a call that anyone wanted to make because who wants to tell someone that has shown extraordinary kindness towards them that something bad has happened? But, this family of extraordinary kindness was full of grace and thru an exchange of phone calls over the course of hours, things were taken care of as much as they could be. AND, Bubba had ONSTAR, which meant Bubba could be turned off REMOTELY! Can you imagine being a thief and having your stolen vehicle just shut down on you?? He was located later that evening abandoned and taken to an impound lot, and was reported to be driveable?!

Bubba was retrieved by the missionary family the very next day, on their way back to Dallas chauffered by Mrs. Mills, and almost all of the contents of the suburban (remember the missionary family had loaded up EVERYTHING the day before into the back of Bubba) were still there.  Evidentally, the theives were not homeschoolers or missionaries and found the year's worth of curriculum and anti-diarheal medicine unappealing - they had dumped out all of the contents and rummaged through everything - but only took one thing - the computer bag with the missionary familiy's laptop computer, which was a replacement for computer #1 and #2 which had both been stolen in a house robbery earlier in the year.  

Photo taken with the Mills family just before we left the restaraunt and discovered Bubba was gone, gone, gone.

The missionary family had learned in the last year to not hold tightly to things of this world, especially items that are replaceable. There are things that can't be stolen, and those are the things to hold onto!  Bubba had mininimal damage - the driver's side lock had been drilled out and Bubba had been hot wired.

The bride of Christ, the body of Christ, was at work, many people offering to help replace items, spreading encouragment and praying against discouragement (because don't you know that's what the ENEMY was after!) The missionary family marveled at what it was like to be inside a whirlwind of grace and graciousness on ALL SIDES. We had some time with some amazing people that short of a stolen Bubba, we would not have had. We have another great story of God's goodness.  We are greatful to the many people who offered to help, for Sagemont Church for replacing the stolen laptop, for the Mills family for being the hands and feet, for a divine appointment, and for the family of extraordinary kindness who were beautiful examples of utter graciousness, even to the point of offering up another vehicle to drive!  

Even if Bubba had been lost forever, or extremely damaged, (thankfully not the case!), the extraordinary kindnesses and immeasureable acts of love and graciousness certainly all pointed back to a God who loves BIG and who triumphs regardless.  

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We were BEYOND blessed by God and His people who acted with such love and encouragement towards us during this time of chaos. We know because of who they are that they would want God to get ALL the GLORY all the way from the small things that were done for us to the very big things! Thank you God for allowing us to be apart of your amazing body and for allowing us to share your love.  Nothing catches you off guard or inconveniences YOU and we love YOU! 

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