My family and I, along with 16 other members of our church, attended the CORENO or Northwest Regional Convention that was held in Hermosillo over the weekend. 7 had to travel on to Jalisco for a funeral in their extended family, and probably will not be back for at least another week or so.

We are very exhausted but joyful in the Lord. The trip was packed with all kinds of adventures, answers to pray, and most of all with manifestations of the outpouring of the love of God toward us. Just organizing and coordinating our trip took a great deal of patience as we had to change our original plans at least 10 times. At the end, I was forced to drive my mini van to Mexicali with 9 people on board, in order to reach our scheduled rendezvous with the charter bus that was leaving from Mexicali to Hermosillo early on Friday morning.

We packed all of our gear in the Everything was going well until we reached Mexicali. Upon arrival, I discovered that my transmission was neutralized. It turns out that it decided to burnout on us right then and there. It was already close to 10 p.m. and we were tired from all of the preparations, including 7 pies that the youth and I baked to share with the rest of the passengers on the charter bus.

As pulled off to one side as best I could to get out of the flow of traffic, and we called Esau, who is one of our brothers in Christ from the church in Colonia Polvora. He is a mechaninc and we were only a few blocks from his house. He promptly came out to meet us and together we did everything we could to get it to run again. It was useless. The trans was shot. The only way that I was able to get it to engage was by letting it cool down for a while and restarting the vehicle. We were able to move one block at a time that way. Then my son Naphtali gave me a great piece of advice. He told me that by turning off the engine in neutral and restarting it we could force the trans to engage. It worked! We were able to make it to Martin’s place where would be staying until it was time to meet with the bus the next morning. By the time we arrived there it was 11:30 p.m., and the departure time was 5 a.m. In the end we got less than 4 hours of sleep.

I must confess that by that time I was ready to throw in the proverbial towel. Although I was scheduled to speak twice during the convention, I was willing to stay behind to work on the vehicle in order to have it ready for the return trip. That was not to be however, as my wife Miriam insisted that I trust in the Lord of a solution upon our return to Mexicali. Although I remained unconvinced of the proposition, I decided to take her advice as there was very little that I could do by staying.

Our hosts in Mexicali had to make two trips the next morning to transport all of the passengers and gear to the bus about five to ten miles from where we were staying. Others were also arriving late, so wea were delayed another 2 hours. By 7 a.m. we were on the move toward Hermosillo. Brother Aldo had to “run trough hoops” just to make sure that the bus was filled up to capacity. People kept changing their plans at the last minute, and for a while it looked like we were going to be stuck with having to pay the difference for 3 to five missing passengers. But the Lord answered our prayers and it was completely full upon departure. Praise God!

Early on during our trip, God began to deal with me in personal way. He began to show me His will and His faithfulness to meet our needs in surprising ways. All I was asked to do is to sit back and “enjoy the ride.” Brother Benjamin from Ejido Puebla shared a couple of inspiring Christian videos that he had brought along, and I must say that I was deeply moved by them. They dealt with this matter of having faith and trust in God no matter what the circumstances might be. By the time they were over, I had streams of tears running down my cheeks. It was then that I knew that God was going to surprise us with an outpouring of His merciful provision.

The road ahead was not going to be an easy ride. It was littered with checking points all the way, and passengers are frequently required to disembark and go through the whole ordeal of the inspection. It is time-consuming and extremely annoying. However, in response to our prayers we were waved through several times during the trip. While buses in front of us were being inspected with a “fine tooth brush”, we were only briefly delayed a couple of times. Clearly all of these incidents were a result of prayer. Praise God!


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