So my mom and I are in South Carolina. I am home in the United States to paritcipate in wedding activities for my daughter, but I have also been asked to speak to a group of SIFE students that work and study at Anderson University. This group of young people have come to the farm on various occasions, bringing with them the love of God and a way to help the girls learn computers, personal finances and marketing strategies. They are a great group of young business oriented men and women.
Anyhow, so we set a time to leave at 10:00 in the morning and we don't leave until 11:00. I am still on Honduran time. I grab a cup of coffee, and get my mom the very first Starbucks she has ever had. I may have created a monster, she loved it.
As we were cruising down I-75 and we couldn't help but notice this semi truck with a large silver tank that they use for transporting milk, weaving all three lanes of the interstate. When he would hit the shoulder of the road it would wake him up from his slumber and he would whip it over to the other lane. I told my mom I thought he was "asleep at the wheel." I was concerned for him and the other motorist, and so I call 911. They said they would send a patrol car. So we cross by 4 more exits and still no police officers and now we are in an area where they have construction going on. So I call 911 back. I told her that there has not been anyone to come to check on this man. I told them he is literally driving over 3 lanes of traffic and that he was taking out the orange stripe barrels. "Well says, the operator, you just left this county and now you are in another so we can't send anyone right now . She said that we will send you message to the other operator in Tift County. Okay, so he continued to almost side swipe several automobiles in Tift county. So I called back when he almost totally ran of the road. They informed me that now I was in Cook Co. and they would have to contact an officer there. I gave up. I just road behind and prayed until a gas truck pulled up beside him. I decided to drop back. I continued to pray and I thought they both pulled off on an exit. I was praying that maybe he was going to Starbucks and would order a pumpkin spice latte, before he got on the road again. That would perk him up, but no, he did not do that, he got back on I-75 and no one ever did come and see about the sleepy driver. I just stayed behind him and prayed for him. He slowed down for me to pass him. I just stayed behind him praying away that he would arrive alive. He finally turned off..
We stopped at Forsythe right after that to get gas and some chicken strips from Zaxby's. We didn't stay long but when we pulled into I 75, the wind and rain started. It was so overcast and the rain was blowing so hard that when someone would pass your car you could not see them in the water that was splashing up from the road, the fog that moved in and the onslaught of the rain pellets hitting your windshield. It rained on us until we hit 475 then it was clear until we arrived in Atlanta I-675.
When we hit I-285 and were supposed to go West and to get off on exit 33. At exit 44 there was an accident and it said WEST, so we got off and found we were going South. I had heard horror stories of I-285, so I got off and decided to ask instructions. I jumped out of the car and so did my mom, before we really took in our surroundings. The gas station had bars all over the outside or pull down doors and graffiti was everywhere. The guy who was coming out the door looked scary and a little mad. It was probably because he had his haired tied up on the top of his head so tight and his hair looked like a mop that had just tried cleaned the floor we were standing on. The other people in the store who were tattooed to the maxium looked at us as if to say, "What are you doing here?". There was a lady who looked like she had been on drugs for a long time, or if not that, she had watched too many presidential campaign videos this year. She was waltzing around inside the store was talking to herself loudly about "the rain, the rain, the rain". I got the instructions from and lady with a very heavy accent. She told me that I-285 was like a large compass and that if I wouldn't pay attention to EAST of NORTH WEST or SOUTH signs and stay on it until I saw my exit number I would be fine. I told her thank you and the lady who was dancing in the store looking up for more rain told me to "Drive carefully, there is a lot of RAIN", and then she smiled her toothless grin. It was looking pretty clear until we got on I-85 and the the buckets of rain were hitting us so hard that the windshield wipers could not keep up with the water.
I had heard of a "White Out" with snowstorms, but that is what it felt like driving. It was the middle of the day and you could see nothing except blue light from police cars and yellow light from emergency vehicles tending to the stranded motorists. We couldn't get off the shoulder because those motorist were stuck and couldn't see to get back on, and so we kept driving slowly. I was amazed at the people who continued to drive the 70 mile speed limit!
I started praying and was asking God after all this craziness on the road, if I had missed His leading to come in the first place. Then I remember about Jesus and His disciples in the boat and their tremendous storm, and then when they arrived safely they were rushed by the demoniac. Jesus through it all just kept going and took care of business. So I kept driving to my destination. Meanwhile my sister who lives and works in the Atlanta area calls from work and tells us that there are tornados in the area. She stayed on the phone with us until we got on I-85. Then the storm got worse. I was leaning so close to the dashboard that my head almost was touching the windshield. I thought to myself, that I must look like the little old ladies who drive with the thick glasses trying to see over the steering wheel.
We drove like that for miles into SC and finally arrived at Anderson. We got together with our co-workers in Honduras, Linda and Jerimiah Botkin and their family. WE had a great reunion. They have been stateside raising support for them to return to the mission field.
Our host Chase Heathersly, who is the president of the SIFE group met us at the University, and we had a luncheon with some of the Deans and Doctors of the students. They gave us a tour of the campus. They showed us where I was going to be speaking. They said, "Rick Warren is speaking there right now. He will speak at 7:00 tonight and you will speak after him at 8:00." Rick WARREN!!. The author of the best selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life", which I thought was extremely appropriate name for our trip. I was impressed and really wanted to hear him speak but we had a dinner engagement at J Peters, a local downtown restaurant, to meet with some of the team members that had come to our farm last May. Anderson University is a great school with scriptures written everywhere on the walls, and just a wonderful warmness all over the campus. After that we ran to the hotel to get ready for our speaking engagement.
Well Rick Warren, the best selling author of "A Purpose Driven Life", was speaking, in another larger amphitheater there on campus and I was speaking in the small auditorium. The college kids were offered extra credit if they attended the two meetings. The leaders waited until Rick Warren was through speaking so that they young people they invited could come to the meeting SIFE was sponsoring. The place was packed out and people were sitting on the floor. I love young people, and they were wonderful to me while I spoke. Nobody, was texting, or working on their IPADS. I talked to them about the timing of God. I encouraged them to finish their education, and while they were finishing their time there, to seek God and see what plans He had for their lives. It was a time for me to know that God had called me there and He gave me the words to share with the young people.
I want to thank all those young people who work with the SIFE Group for making my mom and me feel so welcome to SC and to their school. Mom and I had a wonderful time being with them. We are on our way back to GA. I had never driven anywhere except in Georgia and Florida. It was a wonderful road trip and I am thankful God was the Pilot in this trip. Blessings, the Road Warrior Honduran MOM. PS I will try to post wedding shower photos and photos from the South Carolina trip later