The flooded river swirled past my windshield in the falling dusk. The torrential rain earlier in the day had died down to a steady drizzle, and the river had fallen nearly 3 feet. I still wasn’t sure if the little mission truck could make it through, but it was critical that I get to the village of Pandarukan that evening.
Getting out in the drizzle, I started sloshing through the river to check the crossing. The water was only up to my knees. I knew that the engine could survive water that deep, and the truck was so loaded down that it should have plenty of traction. The little trailer I was pulling would help, too.
Gunning the engine, I popped the clutch and plunged into the current as fast as I dared. The truck roared through the river like it was nothing at all. That is, until it began to climb the steep bank on the other side. The back-right wheel dropped into a hole I hadn’t found when I walked the crossing, the differential high-centered, and the trailer hitch ground itself into a solid marble boulder.
We were stuck. Again.
I’ll spare you the hours that I spent diving under the muddy water struggling to dig the truck free. I won’t tell you about all of the equipment and electronics that got soaked as water seeped in through the doors. I’ll save you the torture of hiking back up the mountain, slipping and sliding through the clay mud, then rounding up the 50 men it finally took to literally lift the truck out of the hole and get it back on dry ground.
“Poor truck,” I murmured as I finally got on the road again. “For nearly nine years, you have uncomplainingly crossed countless rivers, gotten stuck innumerable times, carried patients, missionaries, and supplies into places that no other truck dared go. I’m afraid that mission work has used up your strength before your time, though. It is getting to where I need to do major repairs on you every other month. Several times now, you have broken down on the road in ways that could have killed me or the missionaries riding with me if it weren’t for God’s intervention.”
Yes, our poor little mission truck has served God’s work well. But we’ve come to the point where we need to replace it as it is too expensive and dangerous to keep driving it. Now that my work has expanded to mentoring missionaries across the northern Philippines, it is even more important to have a safe, reliable vehicle designed to get into remote areas.
After the sale of the old truck and some other project equipment that we no longer need, we expect to be able to buy a quality 4-wheel drive pickup truck for an additional $17,000. Would you prayerfully consider helping us fund this project? Thank you, and may God richly bless!