The saga of over-the-road trucking for Joy and I to support ourselves and the ministry of MCOI continues. We have completed out company training and been upgraded to our own assigned truck. We have been on our own for about 2 weeks now. In addition to assisting in supplying our financial needs it also provides new and unexpected ministry opportunities that may not be unique to trucking but seem to be more pronounced. Loneliness among solo drivers is difficult to overcome. A few days ago while Joy and I were having lunch we struck up a conversation with a young man. Soon in to the conversation he talked about being single and asserted that no one wanted him, except his immediate family who only wanted him to pay their bills. Thinking he was overstating the case, as some of us do, we assured him this wasn’t true. He began to tear up (something truck drivers don’t really do in truck stops) and we realized he was really suffering an aloneness that Joy and I cannot readily identify with. We prayed for him and continue to do so. On the lighter side of this new “tent-making” experience, Joy weighs in with something she called “Yankee Doodle”:
You’ve heard of Mark Twain’s story about the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court? Well, we are the Illinois Yankees in Connecticut’s court… At least we were yesterday… Today we are further up in New England – Vermont and New Hampshire to be exact. We spent last night in a New Hampshire Wal-mart parking lot, with a snowy mountain on one side and snowy pine trees on the other. Really gorgeous. We got a 4 inch snowfall overnight and that was beautiful too out the truck windshield.
Our route took us off the interstates and onto a lot of country back roads. We passed through Vermont’s Ski country, just an enchanting drive through many charming snow-covered towns and past many a country Inn. I have never been to New England, and it was quite a pleasant drive.
You’ve heard the stereotypes concerning Vermont – at least I think it’s Vermont – that people are more taciturn there and don’t talk overmuch. Nah – not true! I certainly talked as much in New England as I ever do anywhere else, so I think that’s baloney…
We have now been “on our own” for about two weeks. It is much more pleasant now that it is “just us” in the truck. Our trainer was a nice guy, but we did not really care much for his choice of music or the movies he watched or the irritating way he breathed – in and out, in and out. Let me tell you, after a few months time, living intimately in a small space with a stranger and no privacy gets OLD. We got through it and pretty much kept our negative thoughts to ourselves, but we really couldn’t wait to breathe free. Strangely however, Jamie seemed as happy to see us go as President Bush seemed at the prospect of getting back to Texas – Smiling ear to ear… I mean, I can understand that it may have been a little bit of a trial to spend a short time with a middle aged couple, one hard of hearing and the other one with a bladder the size of a pea – but his dancing and clapping was certainly uncalled for! What got into HIM???
On another note, Don’s Mom chemo therapy has been quite successful in shrinking her lung tumor – so successful that they are not even recommending radiation at this time. She says she is feeling pretty good. We just want to thank everyone for taking the time to pray for her health, and to ask for continued prayer on her behalf. God is good.
Love to all,