It was two summers back that I was preparing to head south to Mexico for the second time, by car. I had visited friends south of the border the year prior, seen their coffee shop ministry, and desired to partner with them for more than a few weeks. So, I was set to serve at the shop for 5-6 months this time. We would be starting Gospel conversations and showing the love of Jesus over cappuccinos and shots of espresso, fresh-roasted Mexican beans in brown bags on the counter, stamped with an owl (referencing a passage from Isaiah). We would share with rock climbers and vagabonds and vacationers from around the world, and with local friends day by day, in the living room -esque seating area; or, by the fire on a Tuesday or Friday night, or in the local canyon that attracts so many travelers.
I had been working hard to facilitate visits with friends and family on the way from North Carolina to Hidalgo, Mexico. I would make pit stops in places like Grand Rapids, MI, Louisville, KY, Jackson, MS, New Orleans, LA, Houston and San Antonio, TX (not all of which are on the way), and then cross the border. And then, crossing the serene, beautiful wasteland that is the first few hours in the land down under, arrive in front of the little worn out sign at El Búho coffee shop. And I was going to do all of this in my yellow Chevy Aveo, which had broken down 6 times on the previous excursion south.
That’s where the story of Goose comes in. Goose is the white Corolla you’ve probably seen me driving around. My friend Chad named her appropriately; she was born in 2006, and was given to me in 2017, and has been flying me around faithfully ever since. You see, a family in my home community from the Church, heard that I was returning to Mexico. They remembered, from stories the year past, that my car had not done well on the journey.
This man sought me out, and said he and his wife would like to give me their car. You know, sign the title into the name of the ministry, #letmeintroduceyou, for use in getting from place to place and serving the Lord. At first they were going to sell it to me for far less than it was valued at. Then, his wife thought it would be cool if they gave me the Corolla–the most reliable car ever. I thought that would be cool too, but it sounded more like a far-fetched joke or a dream than a serious offer as I listened. They told me to pray about if I could use a reliable form of transportation. I will tell you that I did pray, but I knew the answer before I prayed. The answer was yes. This awesome family had a heart to meet a need, and they did so in such a big way.
Not only this.
They gave me their car. I was working to get it ready for the trip, while in the process of selling the malfunctioning Aveo. This couple and their family have faithfully supported me in a manner that I have hardly ever seen or heard of before, and they continue to do the same for Kilby and me still. I think of them often and pray for them, every time I put gas in the car (frequent) or wash it and vacuum it (less frequent)–like yesterday. It leaves me in awe. Awe of the God we serve, who encourages us and challenges us through one another. Who meets our needs even when we haven’t asked, because we are afraid to ask big; we shouldn’t be, when we are asking in accordance with His will.
Oh yea, the car needed an oil change and the son of this couple, who has also supported us at different times, sent me to a local shop where he said they’d give me a discount if I mentioned his name. Get this. Not only had he already covered the oil change, but this man had paid for a whole new set of tires (good ones) to be put on the car his family had just given to me, in preparation for that wild adventure north, then south, then south some more. Isn’t that incredible? The mechanic came out and said I was set to go, the bill had already been covered. It blows my mind. In a world where it’s all about self, this family has chosen to serve the Lord, and they did so in serving me.
That car made it north then south, without a single issue. It went through the Mexican countryside, throughout the town that I was in those months near the shop, and into the city of Monterrey several times, with only an exhaust hanger needing to be replaced from the bumpy roads–a local welder set me up with a more permanent fix. It made it all the way home to NC, a month long adventure of visitations. It’s been on fundraising trips in every direction. It’s spent the summers since in the mountains of North Carolina and has served me and the summer camp work so well. It has been a great gift.
Goose brought Kilby and me over to Tennessee last weekend for a discipleship focused event with youth in Sweetwater. Goose brought Kilby and me down the mountain this week to visit with the new pastor in Mount Pleasant and his wife. Last night it carried us smoothly to Statesville to share with students of South River Baptist. Today we are going to bowl with a women’s group in Mooresville who we will share testimony and vision with, before visiting youth friends in Bluffton, South Carolina, later this evening. Tomorrow we will head for Jacksonville, Florida, to visit students we served this summer at Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters, and really good friends who are serving there.
All this to say: God is our Rescuer, and our regular Provider and Sustainer.
And He works through His people in marvelous ways to meet needs.
If you would like to join with us in this journey, you can do so by reaching out through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at http://www.letmeintroduceyoublog.wordpress.com/give. We have a long way to go yet in our fundraising, but our trust is in the Lord and the knowledge that His purpose will prevail.
Much Love in Christ,
Greg and Kilby