We had a great time at camp this past week. Thirty-three of us made the trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC and the Wilds Christian Camp. The Wilds is a very special place to me. It was at the Wilds where God called me to the ministry. It was also at the Wilds where I met my wife. It was at the Wilds where I developed my philosopy of servant leadership and ministry. God has greatly blessed the camp through the years. I believe all of our campers are ready to go back again. I even saw a few tears from some of the campers saying that they were going to miss their counsellors and their new friends.
On the way back yesterday, I smelled something that smelled like burning rubber. I asked Pastor Mike who was driving the bus about it. About two minutes later the engine light came on and the alarm went off. We pulled to the side of the road. As soon as we stopped the bus, without the air conditioning the bus got hot very quickly. Pastor Mike and I looked at the engine and saw that the main serpentine belt was cut in two. We nursed the bus about a half a mile up the hill to the next exit where we pulled into a Food Lion parking lot. I was praying that the Lord would show Himself real to the kids. They had studied Philippians all week at camp. They had learned to be joyful in all of their circumstances and that we can do all things through Christ which strenghtens us. There was a Burger King there and the kids all went inside and enjoyed the air conditioning. Some even enjoyed some of the food. Meagan Brooks, one of our sponsors, said that she recognized this exit. She has a good friend that works a couple of miles up the road from where we stopped. She called her friend who just happened to have her cell phone on at the time. Meagan was surprised that she reached her. Her friend’s manager just happened to be in the office at that time and was able to come take a look at the bus. He and his dad took the broken belt to an area auto parts store, bought a new belt, and returned and put the new belt on our bus. In all we were delayed about an hour. The men wouldn’t even let us pay for their services. I still am not sure that the kids understand how God took care of us. I tried to tell them that we very easily could have been five miles from an exit, sitting in a hot bus, waiting for someone to drive two and a half hours to pick us up on another bus. Praise the Lord for the little delay. He very well may have been protecting us. Whatever He was doing, He had a purpose and for that I’m grateful.