Chapter 41 Return Home
At the end of the summer the last members of the team piled into the VW bus and we headed back to Belgium. Our bus was much the worse for wear and its starter had given out, so we had to push it to get it going.
We drove through the night because trip was a slow one for, by OM’s safety rules, we were not allowed to go over 80 kilometers an hour (50 miles an hour), even on the Autobahn, where there is no speed limit. We reached Cologne early in the morning and went to the train station to drop off several of our team members. At this point I was the only male in the group, besides Josh, and was the only driver left.
When we got ready to leave the train station, all the girls were out pushing the bus to start it while I sat in the driver’s seat. I assure you that the looks I got from the Germans were not approving ones!
As we approached our base in Belgium, the van’s motor began running more and more roughly, and just as we pulled into the yard it quit! We were so thankful the Lord brought us back safely. Another God sighting!
After the rest of the teams had gathered from all over Europe, we Americans were taken to the airport and put on our charter flight back to JFK. Here God had two important conversations awaiting us during the trip.
I was pleased to find that the person assigned the seat next to me was one of my roommates from the training session, one who had gone to the country on our hearts for the summer. It was no accident that out of over three hundred passengers, this fellow was given the seat next to me. God was at work.
My seatmate told me tales of midnight distribution of tracts on doorsteps, of their van rolling over, of a poor farmer who was so eager to get a New Testament, of the spiritual poverty and the strong opposition.
I was deeply impressed by all that he was sharing, especially with it coming on the heels of my encounter with the Middle Eastern woman who had refused a book, along with having received the indication that we would be on the field in three years.
Another passenger on the plane was a former classmate of Barbara’s from her Bible school. This woman was returning from Iran with her new American husband to join a group and return to Iran. She told Barbara all about this group, IMI, that worked in the ME,. and gave her the address.
When we arrived in Canterbury, we were exhausted from all of the pressures and difficulties of the summer, the lack of sleep and the long trip back. One nice welcome home gift was that as soon as we put little Josh into his own bed, he slept through the night. It was good to be home!
We took our next steps right away, contacting IMI and made a trip down to their office in New Jersey. We learned that they didn’t have a team in the country on our hearts, (which we will call”Narnia”), but that it would be possible to join the a team in a neighboring country and work with Narnians living in Western part. So we made that our goal. Over the next months we completed our application for IMI and began reading more about Narnia and the neighboring country.
Picture: Josh helping me sell books in Austria