Monday, December 23, 2013

Not ANOTHER White Van!?

Our van had been slowly dying. For the past three years, my Dad claimed that our van ran on, “A hop and a prayer.” I know that we often saw God’s hand at work in our long, white Chevy Express as we prepared for local and long-distance ministry trips. However, there is always the point when it is time for the new.

Our faithful "White Elephant"

The beginning of this year, as God directed our family to focus more on traveling with our singing ministry it became very obvious that our eight-year old van needed replacement. Our dreams ballooned as Dad and my brother browsed the internet for vans and . . . buses!!!! Oh, to travel in the luxury of a 24-seat bus instead of cramping us fourteen Teros in a fifteen-passenger van with instrument cases stowed under seats, keeping my feet strictly in front of me and my brother’s camera back-pack limiting my stretch-ability in front. And to have a bus! That meant no six-foot white trailer bumping behind with our ice-chest hidden under an avalanche of sleeping bags and duffels. Instead, we would have luxurious over-head storage, under-the-seat storage and extra room behind the seats! And an ice-chest that we could reach without stopping.

Months passed and we looked. My favorite bus we nicknamed the “Coca-Cola” bus – white with red swirly accents. But there was always one major downside: buses cost almost twice as much as a fifteen-passenger van and . . . we did not even have money for a new van. This is nothing new, though, as we have watched in awe how God has provided to the penny our needs every time. We knew that, according to God’s will, He would provide. And as God is so faithful, He did it again! When God provided the funds for a new vehicle for the ministry, the search began genuinely. It did not take long to realize that our dreams for a bus were not a need but a want. Yes, it would be luxurious to travel in a bus, however, God did not provide money for a bus – He provided just enough for us to get . . . another fifteen-passenger van (“Please, Daddy, can we find another color besides white? How boring to get practically the same van!!!”).

Three months passed and the search for a fifteen-passenger van poised some difficulties. Dad found a van and he and Mom drove four hours to get it. They arrived at the dealership and began talking with the man only to discover that they changed the price that morning. Difficulties swelled and my parents came home in our old faithful “big white elephant.” We were disappointed, but this experience answered our prayer: it was very clear that this van was not for us. This experience also helped us to realize that though we were dreaming smaller, the dreams were still too big. We were having a difficult time accepting the exact amount God had given us for a new van and were searching above our limit.

More browsing online. Dad found another van – this time 6 ½ hours away in Texas (TexasDirectAuto.com). Dad called the dealership and told them the price that God had given us for a new van -- we needed the van and all of the legal work completed with that price. They were more than willing to work with us and long day short, the drive was made to Texas, the van was bought (complete with the extra blessing of new tires), and is now gracing our driveway. 


Another fifteen-passenger. Another Chevy. Another white van. But, it was another lesson to learn that God may not provide our desires but He is always faithful to provide our needs.


The old . . .

. . . the new!




2 comments:

Janell said...

Thank the Lord for providing this need! And y'all got it from TX, you can't get much better than that (unless you were to get a Ford in TX, :-) just kidding, I know that's just a want and not a need). We have a Chevy as well, it's an Astro, and our favorite make of any van. I hope to send a little note your way a little later on today.

Amanda said...

Thanks for your comment, Janell. :) Yes, we're thanking the Lord - every time we hear that big "VROOM!" when the engine starts. :) It no longer feels like we have to push against the floor to get our van up the hill. ;) Our poor old van has definitely been well-worn with trips to Colorado, Maine, St. Louis, Arkansas, and multiple Mississippi trips. :)

As for the Ford, we DID look at some, but Daddy prefers the Chevy - we've tested both Chevy and Ford vans and our Chevy's have been more tolerant of Teros than the Fords. :)

I don't think an Astro would quite fit our family, eh? ;)

Looking forward to that note (if you get around to it). Merry Christmas!

~Amanda

"But my Lord shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

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