No traveling allowed ! No camping allowed ! Anyone else going through withdrawals? As some of you know, my husband, Doug and I make it a priority to travel about every 2-3 months. We take anywhere from three days to two weeks off to explore and be in nature. We love to tent camp. It gives us a way to be a part of our beautiful surroundings.
Camping and traveling are not only fun past time activities for us. We consider them an avenue for our ministry. Before we leave on an adventure, we pray that God brings across our path people who need encouragement or prayer. We also ask that we meet people who will encourage and pray for us. Doug possesses the God-given boldness to approach complete strangers and strike up a conversation. Sometimes the conversation leads to prayer and sometimes its just good ole conversation. We have been blessed to meet some amazing people and experience some inspiring stories throughout our travels. Below is one story that still brings me to tears when I think about it.
It was late in the afternoon on a cloudy October day as we drove into the familiar town. We were at the end of a six hour drive to the cozy mountain house where we have stayed many times before. We stopped in town to get groceries and continued on our way. Doug saw a sign for an estate sale and wanted to stop. I protested. We were only three miles from the house and I just wanted to get there. We turned onto the road where the sign pointed and parked at the top of the steep driveway. At the bottom of the driveway was a small house. The yard was full of household goods, tools, children’s toys and clothes for sale. Inside the house, all the furnishing and appliances were also for sale. A young lady approached us. Soon her and Doug began talking while I browsed. She confided in him that she was going through a difficult time and had to sell everything. Doug told her about when he had been thorough a similar situation. Tears flowed down the young woman’s face. Doug asked her if we could pray together and she agreed. After we prayed, I hugged her and told her she is a daughter of the Almighty God who loves her immensely. I could feel her frail frame melt into mine. Through tears she whispered ” Thank You” as we walked up the driveway towards our car. As we sat in the car, tears flowed down my face and I thanked God for my husband who listens to the leading of the Lord despite my protests. We often wonder what ended up happening with this young woman, but God knows.
Although , I do miss the mountains, the lakes, the waterfalls, the pine trees, and even the squawking birds that wake us up in the morning, I realize that I miss the connection that is created with the people along our travels. I believe that it is not just a coincidence that we cross paths with the people we do and end up going to the places we go. We pray for God’s guidance and He becomes our compass. In turn, we become a compass for others through boldness and humble willingness to be used by God.
So Be Bold…Be a compass toward hope