It took a whole day to make it from Spokane to Seattle. The central part of Washington was a high plain with a very strong head wind blowing, so I struggled to keep my speed up to 50 mph much of the time.
Finally late on Sunday afternoon I came down out of the mountains towards the city. On the way I passed a campground with a Christian name, so I stopped in to ask if there was a good church in the area that I could attend that evening.
“Sure is,” replied the camp manager, “There’s a good one not far from here,” and gave me directions. Then he asked, “You got a place to stay tonight?” When I told him I hadn’t, he said, “Well, you’re welcome to stay here. Costs a dollar a night.”
I was very glad to think of spending the night in a bed, and said I’d be back. This obvious provision of a place to stay, along with the other divine interventions on the trip, were what I later came to call “Jesus sightings”: clearly seeing the Lord reaching down to protect or provide for me.
I roared up into the church parking lot, put my motorcycle in a corner spot and took off my helmet, letting my long hair fall around my ears and neck.
I turned and looked at the church, the wind blowing in my scraggly beard. One whole wall of the church was stained glass windows, quite different from the plain church I attended back in Canterbury
I turned to the entrance and went in. The sanctuary was plush: thick carpet, padded pews, and the evening light streaming in through the stained glass. It was impressive.
Surprisingly, in spite of my appearance, people greeted me warmly as I made my way to a pew near the front. The pastor welcomed me as a visitor, and after the service took time to chat with me.
Other attenders also came to greet me. One elderly woman in particular talked with me at length. “Connecticut. That’s a long ways from here,” she said. “How often have you communicated with your family during your trip?”
I thought, “Well, I’ve called them at least once a week and written some, but probably not enough.”
“How about if I give you my address so you can write to me and let me know how it goes with you in Alaska. Let me have your home address, too, just in case you lose mine,” she suggested.
Giving me her card, she got out her address book and handed it to me so I could write my Connecticut address in it.
“When I get an address in Alaska, I’ll send it to you,” I promised.
“Now, young man, I’m going to pray for you that God will guide you and protect you in this venture of yours,” she said.
This commitment was more important than either of us realized. True to her word, this prayer warrior wrote almost every week and interceded for me daily over the next year, bringing me up each week in prayer meeting. She probably played the most significant role in the next steps the Lord had for me.
She also immediately wrote to my mother to give her some unbiased news of my whereabouts and condition, which Mom appreciated greatly.
I thanked the little old lady, picked up my helmet and went out into the parking lot where my motorcycle waited. That night I slept very well in a cabin at the campground and awoke with the sense that a new part of my journey was about to begin.
Picture of Seattle from internet