I met an angel in a red car. Even if he wasn’t a real, bonafide, heavenly-being kind of angel, he was an angel—sent by God—for a heavenly mission!
Just one mile from the Detroit airport and one hour before our flight home from Fresh Grounded Faith Flint, our rental car began to shake. A loud scraping sound, like metal against asphalt, filled the interior of our minivan and panic began to rise! This was followed by the sound of shredded rubber flapping in the wind as my husband Phil maneuvered us onto the shoulder of the road.
A flat tire. And not just flat—it was blown out beyond repair.
Determined to make our flights, we flew into motion. Phil got on the phone with Avis, Terrie (our National Conference Director) grabbed my hand and we prayed, and Terrie’s husband Jimmy got out to assess the damage.
Nobody could find the spare tire; Jimmy even got out the owner’s manual to locate it! Phil calmly worked through Avis’ computerized prompts and, eventually, spoke to a nice lady two thousand miles away who tried to get us off the side of the road. But after the spare tire location was a bust and we realized there was no way the nice lady with Avis could rescue us fast enough, Jimmy called an Uber.
The Uber driver named Peter was 18 minutes away and heading toward us in his red car. If he made it on time, we had a chance to make our flights.
So, we got ready! We hauled all six pieces of luggage out of the defunct van and gathered together like a weary band of middle-aged hippie hitchhikers on the side of the highway waiting for a ride. Phil, by the way, was still on the phone with Avis and now giving them our location in latitude and longitude! I’m not kidding. At this point, our flight was leaving in 40 minutes.
When a red car zoomed by us, Terrie and Jimmy threw their hands up in the air like castaways signaling the rescue ship. The car flew past us like a red blur before pulling over, and what happened next went by so fast that I can barely believe it.
The driver couldn’t turn around on the highway, so he just hit reverse and drove backwards on the shoulder until he reached us. “Are you Peter?” Terrie yelled over the roar of the traffic. “Are you Uber?” she yelled again. At this point, Terrie is totally amped up and running toward the red car! “No. I just see you need help,” the man replied in Romanian-accented English. “You need go to airport? I take you. What airline?”
Nobody considered safety—like this guy could be a crazy man looking to kidnap four sweaty middle-aged unhinged adults and steal their luggage full of dirty clothes! It could happen?!
But safety was the last thing on our minds, so off we went.
Terrie grabbed me while Jimmy grabbed the luggage, and Phil—who was STILL on the phone with Avis—one-handedly secured the van we were about to abandon.
The nice man in the red car then lept into action. It was like a scene from a movie! He jumped out of his driver’s seat and opened the back door. His back seat was full of auto parts including a full-sized bumper. He tossed each piece onto the side of the highway in front of our useless minivan. “I come back and get it after I take you to airport.”
After he and Jimmy threw all our belongings into his car, we crammed all five of us into his vehicle and sped off.
“God bless you,” I said after catching my breath. “He does,” the man replied. Oh girl! He then went on to explain that he was a believer in Christ and his name was Daniel. It was like a mini revival at 80 miles per hour!
Then with the same fluidity that he got us into his car, he somehow got us out at the curb of the American Airlines terminal at the Detroit airport! We now had only 30 minutes until takeoff.
We exchanged “thank you’s” and “God bless you’s” and praised our Father who did this for us, and then we parted ways! Terrie and Jimmy ran and caught their flight, but Phil and I got hung up trying to check luggage and didn’t make ours. We did eventually catch another flight and got home at 2:00 a.m.
Wow! I’m tired just telling the story!
But the real story here is not in all those heroic and hilarious details; the real story is in that red car. Because in that red car was family. In that red car was God’s provision. In that red car was an answer to prayer. In that red car was compassion and care and assurance that God hears and God cares.
And that, my friend, is a perfect summary of our whole weekend at Fresh Grounded Faith Flint. We were a family, and God was with us. He showed us his compassion and care, and He answered our prayers. Between Laura Story’s music, Karen Abercrombie’s drama, Shaun Groves’ worship and story, and Ann Voskamp’s beautiful truths, we were completely assured of God’s presence and provision.
It was such an inspiring weekend from start to finish!
Big thanks to our host church, Central Church of the Nazarene, and our Local Conference Coordinator, Carol Wehrli. We’re so grateful for her and all of the wonderful volunteers from all of our co-host churches.
And we got the privilege of seeing God move in the hearts of women! We celebrated 5 new sisters in Christ, 39 women who chose to renew their commitment to the Lord, and 60 children sponsored through Compassion International. Praise the Lord!
Our angel Daniel in the speedy red car was just one flyby example of God’s care for us, but the truth is that He cares for us invariably—in every moment, without exception. So take courage, my friend, in His unwavering faithfulness and provision.
Jennifer and the FGF Team!
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