The Jeep Saga –
Well, here I sit, in Yatehey, NM, believing God for my jeep to be fixed today.
Been a real adventure so far.
Two weeks ago, we planned a trip to Page, AZ to meet with national native leaders for a conference, to give copies of my new book to elders as protocol gifts, and to renew friendships as we went.
Before leaving Tulsa, for the 1036 mile drive each way, I had a good friend who is mechanically minded check everything out. We had the oil change done, but there was a rattle in the motor that concerned me. Turned out the rotor bug clip was broken off inside my distributer cap, so we changed cap, rotor and wires, as I had put in platinum plugs last month for the Canada trip.
We went to his uncles muffler shop, to check out the rattle in the exhaust, and it was determined that it was the catalytic converter acting up, but he was booked up that day, and I needed to get outta town. Decided to chance it, and make the conference schedule, and GO!
I teach that faith without works is dead, and my version of this, it that you ALWAYS do what you can, with what you have, trusting God to supply and help with what you do not have. You can’t just sit there!
In hindsight, I should have waited for him to fix it next day.
To break up the drive, we had booked a night in a hotel in Amarillo, Texas, May 27th, as it was my birthday, and we celebrated with the included breakfast!
By the time we reached Amarillo, the catalytic converter was causing the engine to run hot, and making lots of noise.
A good friend had sent some money for my birthday, so Karen and I were up early, to find a Laundromat, and a muffler shop to get this thing fixed.
And so the ordeal began. Found a muffler shop recommended by a guy at the Laundromat, and they put on a new catalytic converter. Thought we were doing well, as they only charged me $180 for an aftermarket part.
By Santa Rosa, NM I was losing power, and the engine was overheating. Found a shop there, and we checked fire on each cylinder, while we had spark, there was yet no power, and engine running rough.
Did a compression test. No compression on cylinders 3,4 and 5. Ugh!
When we tried to discover why, we found that that muffler shop in Amarillo, had done a nasty. They had replaced my new platinum spark plugs, with a mismatched bunch of plugs, and one of them had broken inside a cylinder. Also looked like we had a blown head gasket between cylinders 3 and 4.
Made it to Albequerque, blowing blue smoke. Used 2 quarts of oil in only 3 hours. Stopped at a Panera, to get on WiFi, and to calm down. Engine running rough (Jay said: ‘Dad, are we driving a tractor out to the Navajo nation?’)
Prayed for a couple hours, and Karen felt impressed to call some friends to stay for the night.
Phew! Showers, coffee, and air conditioning made something brutal, bearable.
They were leaving town next day, so we had to leave, and I did not have peace to drive on to Page. I asked the Lord what to do, as we were supposed to be staying with Navajo elders that night, and I was determined not to dishonor them.
Holy Spiirt said: ‘Lewis is the elder hosting you to the Navajo nation, call him, and submit to what he asks you to do.’
So, I called him, and he counseled me to press through to Gallup, NM, and he would help me. We eventually limped into Gallup (driving 50mph in a 75), four hours later, and made it to their home here on Navajo land.
Tried to rent a car in Albequerque, but it would not accept my debit card.
So, we found an AutoZone, and they had a couple of mechanics come over. We replaced the broken plug, put in a can of Lucas stop leak, bought a gallon of oil, and drove.
Well, the jeep was now firmly parked in Lewis driveway, and we had a number of mechanics come to try and diagnose the problem.
At that point, I only had $200 left, not enough to buy gas to get home, much less pay repairs.
Lewis called around, and a salvage yard had a head they agreed to sell us for $150, in a ‘U-pull-it’ yard.
So, off we went, to pull this head out of a scrapped jeep.
Two days in the hot sun, we got it off. The owner only charged us $100.
Then, we tore down my motor, and discovered that despite the Youtube videos that had counseled us that this was a cracked head, we had bullet sized hole in the top of piston number 5.
Time for another motor.
Called back the salvage yard, and he had another vehicle that had been rolled, that had a good motor in it, but he was selling it for $800. After discussion, he agreed to lower the price to $600, and give me $100 credit if I brought the head back.
So, 2 more days in the hot sun, pulling this motor out of this wrecked jeep. The guys there were awesome! They lifted the wrecked jeep up on their forklift so that we could work on the bottom half in the shade, and they gave us tons of counsel and loan of tools to get those brutally hard to reach ‘star’ bolts out from the top of the transmission.
I have never been a mechanic, but I sure got a crash course, and the learning curve has been steep.
Pulling the head outta the first wrecked jeep.
In the midst of this, $200 had come in donations, which amounted to $193 after Paypal got theirs.
So, the salvage yard owned said that if we removed all the accessories from the motor (starter, AC, water pump, intake and exhaust manifolds, fuel rail, etc) he would sell me the block and head for $400.
Pulling the motor outta the second jeep
I gave him my $193 to hold the motor, then Lewis loaned me the $107 so that we could get this motor home.
So, Lewis borrowed a pick-up truck, and we got it hauled back here to the house.
Then, we took out the block and everything on my jeep, and we were done.
We knew, from the complexity of removing everything, we were not skilled enough to install the replacement motor. Too many plugs on the wiring harness, cooling system, transmission, phew!
We needed a mechanic, who we could trust.
More fervent prayer!
A friend of ours, Melvin Yashie Hill, has a brother that is a good mechanic, but his shop is in Ganado, AZ, 45 miles from here.
I now had no money to pay him, and I don’t write faith checks.
He agreed to install the new motor for $250, and he showed up here with his truck, and loaded the jeep and all the parts and towed it to Ganado, where he has been working on it for the past couple of days.
So, presently, I am penniless, in some violent faith for these repairs, and travel expenses back to Tulsa, and on to St. Louis, where I will fly to Denmark next week. I had put up a prayer request for Denmark, and perhaps God has had me fulfilling my own request, because we have PRAYED, day and night these past two weeks, over in the Holy Spirit in other tongues.
What was to be a fun adventure in faith, has now been two weeks staying uninvited with some precious Navajo elders and their family here in Yatehey, NM.
Yet, God is love,and works all things together for good when we love Him.
What is really needed, is a more reliable vehicle….so, we pray for it, and deal with the hand we are dealt.
Gotta admit though, it has sure bumped up my prayer life. Day and night for the past two weeks we have prayed in other tongues, crying out to God for provision and grace to get through this particular trial.
If the Lord leads you to help us financially at this time, we surely need it.
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Give in faith!
1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?
1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.
Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.
I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…
As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.
Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.
I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….
I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.
Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:
Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies
It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!
Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!