The Beginning of a Faith Adventure

I went on a couple of short term mission trips with a madman named Dan Hitzhusen. He told us that we were “going on a faith adventure with God” before each trip and he was quite right. Well, this move has turned into a faith adventure too.

It started Saturday the 22nd. We took our bed apart and I saw that the frame was pretty much falling apart so I decided that we’d stop by Ikea and pick up a new one. The only time we had to do it was Sunday after church. As a soft Sabbatarian, I don’t like doing that but it was needful. There was a baptism at 4 PM and we wanted to get back by then so we turned to kids over to someone else and took off. About a quarter of the way there the van started running rough so I pulled over to see if I could figure it out. Nope, but I suspected the fuel pump since it has a history. We stopped at an auto parts place and picked up a new one then turned around and headed home. We just missed the baptism but got to hang around for the fellowship afterwards.

Monday was spent dropping a 3/4 full 26 gallon fuel tank (gasoline is about 8 lbs/gal, you do the math) changing the fuel pump and fuel filter. Once the tank was down (no mean feat either!) I discovered that I had the wrong fuel pump. Bummer. I borrowed a car and drove into town and exchanged it. Put the new one in an mounted the tank then tried the car. I wasn’t running roughly anymore, now it would run at all! I squirted some carb cleaner in the intake and it didn’t help. Must be an spark problem, right? I picked up a new coil but by then the sun had set and I couldn’t install it. We did have dinner with some dear friends though.

Tuesday I was supposed to pick up the U-Haul and start loading. U-Haul was supposed to call Monday to tell me where to pick it up, they didn’t so I called them. They had my reservation but nothing had been done on it. I expressed my dissatisfaction and told them to come up with a van. They sent me to a town about 40 miles away. When I got there I was told that they had two 26′ vans but they were both reserved. I wound up at another U-Haul in the same city and I got my van.

When I got home (noonish) with the van I started working. Soon some friends from church showed up and we got moving on the U-Haul. Back to the van. The instructions on the coil said to use the existing mounting hardware. Cute since the old coil was rivited in! I replaced it and it didn’t help. Sent the wife in to town for a bunch of stuff including a new cap, rotor and wires. Went back to loading the U-Haul.

Tuesday was also my 40th birthday. At about 6PM I felt every single inch of 40. My wife returned with the goods including pizza. Three slices later and I was ready to get back to work. Replaced the cap, rotor and wires on the van. Still no help. Back to loading the van. Three guys from church showed up right in the nick of time. We were down to the last few feet of room and still had some big items to go on. I was sure they wouldn’t fit but by 11 PM we got them loaded. Whew!

Wednesday I called the garage and AAA to get the van fixed. AAA picked it up about 9AM. The plan was that my wife and her sister and my daughters were supposed to get in the van and head off to Albuquerque while my son and I cleaned the house. Turned out my wife and I cleaned the house and no one headed to Albuquerque. We got the house cleaned and the last bits loaded into the U-Haul. The garage called. The fuel pump is supposed to produce 60 psi and was only cranking out 15. Yup, the boneheads at a different store, same chain sold me the wrong fuel pump again. The garage will install a new one tomorrow AM. Also, my final inspection of the house is tomorrow at 10:15 AM. If I pass, and I’m pretty sure I will, then I’m free.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Another favorite is 2Pt 1:3.) Most often we cannot see those good purposes when we’re in the midst of having all things worked, but in this case I think I recognize some. First, since the regional U-Haul office messed up my reservation (which I made on the 12th) the guys at the office gave me two extra days free. They also used the old price since the office I was at didn’t have the new book. All in all they saved me $380 on the rental. Second, there was no way I could have gotten the last little bits of furniture in the U-Haul myself. I’m good at Tetris but not loading moving vans. They did some really cool things and we got everything loaded with room for the odds and ends. All told we loaded something like 8,320 pounds of household goods. I’m guessing that the Air Force will end up paying me about $5,000 to move it myself.Third, though my son and I could have cleaned the house ourselves it was better the way it worked out. My children got to spend the day at my pastor’s house. We’re pretty close to their family and our kids love each other. But also, my wife and I got some quality time together. Sure we were cleaning an hauling out trash, but we had a good day together. I’ll be driving with my son so we’ll get some time together too.

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