That’s right, a new van! Many of our friends and family have heard about our van, but for those who haven’t…
This past summer our family began to ask God to provide a van for us if it is His will for us to continue to welcome children into our family through adoption. So for a couple of months, our kids were praying that God would give us new partners and enough money to buy a van. Well in September, Alecia stopped the kids and told them that we don’t want God to give us money so we can buy a van. We want God to give us a van. A whole van. Simple as that. No shopping or pulling together the right amount of money. God please give us a van.
In October, I made a trip to Florida to visit with ministry partners and raise additional support. After being gone for about a week and a half, I pulled up to our home on a Friday evening to find a strange SUV parked in our driveway. A Little Rock family that we didn’t know was speaking to Alecia in the front yard. They said they heard about us through the C.A.L.L. and wanted to meet us and bless us with a card that they handed to Alecia. Of course, when I pulled up our kids came running outside to see Daddy. The new couple made their quick introductions and left us so we could go inside and reconnect over dinner.
As we began to sit down around the table, Alecia opened the envelope the couple had given her and out fell a key. The accompanying card said that there was a 2012 15-passenger van waiting for us at a dealership in Hot Springs. It was used, it continued, but was in very good condition with new tires and a reverse camera that they asked the dealership to add to the van. By the time Alecia forced her way through most of the card, she and I were both in tears, and our children were standing in their chairs or jumping up and down saying, “God gave us a van!”
Now, over three months later, the van hasn’t lost its allure. Our three-year-olds refer to it as the “padger” van, and all of the children love to ride in it. Why is it so special? Our Suburban has leather seats and a DVD player and looks way better than the big, white, passenger van. It’s because it was a gift – not a random gift that they didn’t want or expect. No, they asked God for this very big gift, expected Him to answer, and then celebrated when He did. It’s a God Gift.
I don’t know about you, but my faith swells just thinking about it.
I will add one more interesting coincidence. As I usually do when I’m on the road for a long time, I prayed much during my drive home that Friday. It’s always a great time for free and easy conversation with God. He points out his beautiful creation and reminds me of the blessings of the past week, while I express my awe and gratitude and offer my needs and concerns. I knew the kids were praying for a 15-passenger van, but it was actually pretty low on my prayer list. However, after seeing so many vans on the road, I felt that God was asking me to submit. You see, I wanted a Chevy van. I had nothing against the other makes, but I liked the looks of the Chevy Express and the controls and features would be consistent with our current Chevrolets. Ok, I admit: I’m a Chevy fan in general. So on the way home that Friday, I conceded my preference and told God, “I’ll drive a Ford if that’s what you want to give us.”
I’m not saying that He was waiting for my concession. But I find it very interesting that I submitted that day, and God gave us a Ford E350 15-passenger van that evening. Just sayin’.