Today is Thursday, and today’s the day I have been planning to write our team’s blog entry. Since this was planned ahead of time, I knew I was going to be prepared for (what I thought would be) a slam dunk of a post. I looked ahead at the lesson for the day, and saw that it was centered on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Yes, the Beatitudes! What could be easier? Days before, I even picked out a witty title for my post. It was going to be written backwards, as “Tsop Golb Sdrawkcab” (Backwards Blog Post), and focus on how Jesus taught that the blessed are the meek, those who mourn, and the persecuted, etc. (see Matthew 5: 1-12). It’s a lesson that is taught often in Sunday Schools, sermons, and at VBS classes, about the underdogs being the winners, which is the opposite of what the world would expect to happen. I had a plan and was prepared! All I thought I needed was a few pictures of the kids doing their thing, and my blog post would write itself.
Or so I thought…
God has a plan that oftentimes is not mine, and He does so to teach me a lesson. So what happened? Did VBS go awry today? Was I wrong and missed that the lesson was something different? No, it wasn’t that at all. The title of our lesson today was “God’s Heroes Have Hope”, just like the title to this blog entry says. But not only would the children be learning about Hope today, but so would the adults.
After VBS was done for the day, our team made an expedition to Homer, where we needed to do some laundry, pick up a few things at the grocery store, and peruse a few of the local shops. A couple of days ago, while driving in our rental Suburban, we had noticed that one of the brakes seemed to have hung-up temporarily, but it resolved itself, and we thought it was a fluke. But in Homer today, it happened again, and did not immediately resolve itself. Uh oh. We were in Homer (about a 20-30 minute drive south from Anchor Point), had some frozen foods in the car, and were facing the prospect of not having a working rental car with which to drive ourselves, not just back to Anchor Point, but eventually back to Anchorage (200+ miles away) after VBS ends tomorrow. But as we had just instructed the children a few hours earlier, our hope resides with the Lord.
Firstly, where did our car’s brakes fail? Right down the road from Faith Lutheran Church in Homer, where that congregation has greeted us with open arms for the last six years. So great is their love for the Lord and for us, that they have literally entrusted us with keys to their church! So we were able to simply limp our vehicle into their parking lot, and have a safe place to rest, and put our frozen foods. And after a couple of phone calls to our car rental (Cheap Wheels in Anchorage, who provides rental cars to several mission teams that come to Alaska), the manager told us not to worry. He told us if we could safely do so, to drive to Anchor Point, and that we could call a friend of his in the area if we ran into any trouble; and also, that he would drive the 4+ hours this evening to bring us a new vehicle. As of this writing (it’s now 11:00 pm), we are safely in Anchor Point awaiting Nathan and our new vehicle, and thanking the Lord that while we are here serving Him in Alaska, He has given us heroes to help us in our times of need. But always our ultimate hero is God’s own son Jesus Christ, and that by his death and resurrection we have the hope of eternal life with the Lord in His kingdom.