We left on the 19th of March early in the morning. About 12:45. Prior to that most of us had watched the Easter play at the Christian Life Center, which incidentally, was really well done as usual. The little girl singing while Jesus hung on the cross served as the climax of emotions. Our plan was to drive east on I-90 until Butte, where we would take I-15 south to St. George, Utah, where New Life Christian Center had so generously allowed us to crash in their church. Plans, however, don’t always work out as planned. We broke down in Deer Lodge after only a couple of hours of driving. The suburban lost its fan belt. We really tried, but nowhere within a three hour drive had fan belts at 2:30 in the morning. The night crew at Wal-Mart in Helena was exceptionally unhelpful. So we ended up getting a couple of hotel rooms for the girls while Dan, Rocky, and I slept in the suburban. We wanted to be hard-core missionaries -- and save fifty bucks. I must mention how helpful and friendly the gas station attendant was. He offered us tools, gave us free coffee, and even offered to put us up when he got off of work, but that wasn’t until six in the morning.
The next day Dan, Rocky, and I got up at eight to catch Napa when it opened. We bought a new fan belt, put it on, and it smoked and squealed. I guess there was something else wrong, like the mechanic said on the phone the night before. So we asked him for help, and he told us that the tensioner arm pulley was ceased, and gave us some free tips on replacing it. We asked to pay him, but he said not to worry about it. So after a $25 part and 30 minutes of work, we had the suburban running as good as before. Krysty bought us breakfast, we picked up the rest of the girls, had breakfast again, and were back on the road. It is really amazing that everyone kept a great attitude though all this, and really took the whole thing in stride.
We arrived in St. George late Saturday night. Originally we were planning on getting there around 2:00 PM, but as I mentioned, plans don’t always work out as planned. The pastor was really nice and came and opened the church for us at midnight or whenever it was we got there. After a brief sleep, we were back on the road. We were planning on meeting up with Art and Joyce in San Diego around four in the afternoon after doing some shopping. Then we’d follow them to the hotel in Tijuana. We got to San Diego a couple of hours early, but by some weird chance, Jess saw Art and Joyce filling up at a Costco gas station while we were driving around San Diego, and we weren’t anywhere near where we were planning on meeting them. Crazy.
Art and Joyce are a wonderful couple. About ten years ago they sold all there stuff, and moved down to Mexico. The orphanage, Nueva Esperanza Hogar de Niños, is the product of their sacrifice and faithfulness. They have great stories of all the things that God has done to make the orphanage possible. Like, a stack of sheetrock showing up on their door step with no way to get put up. Then that same week a team from Utah called, and offered to help with something. They said they were good workers, but didn’t know what they could help with since they were all professional sheetrockers. Art decided let them come down.
Wouldn’t that be a good name for a band? The sheetrockers. Or maybe a sailing team. Anyway.
We went to Wal-Mart and In and Out burger. The number of people in those places made me appreciate the sparse population of Montana. After buying food, water, and a CD player for the kids, we drove to Mexico. That night we got to shower, and sleep in beds.