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     Sorry for the post being so long. It is more of a memory recalled from a trip I made to the states many years ago across the dangerous roads of Mexico. It is long but was worth writing for me and I hope worth the time to read. Blessings

     I made contact with Gordy again a few years ago (1998) after visiting his father (uncle John who has since passed) in another state. Uncle John was showing off his cell phone when he dialed Gordon’s number by accident. John passed the phone to me and we had a surprise pleasant conversation. Gordy told me he was living in Austin Tx.

     We had a great family reunion and made it back to Guatemala. Later that year we were planning our big trip to the states but this time the plan was to drive in our…. Are you ready 1985 Dodge Caravan 2.2-liter engine

     I remember packing for this trip. Loading all we could into that Dodge caravan here in Guatemala. We were confident that it would make it across Guatemala, and Mexico and back. After everyone was inside there was literally no room for our luggage. A neighbor had a garage sell and we purchased a turtle shell to pack the remaining suitcases. We took out the heavy toolbox to not tax the breaks or the 2.2 Lt engine. I remember the Lord saying not to take out the drill, 3 drywall screws, and the tap with a rusted in place die. Shoved them under the seat and away we went. Looking back, I laugh at my immaturity and praise God we did not get killed going through Mexico which was a book in itself. Late one afternoon as the sun was setting on a stretch of road in Mexico where nothing but windmills could be seen for miles, the lock and hinges broke on the turtle shell. We found all (I think) of our belonging that had just blown out but had no way to secure the top back on the luggage turtle shell. We remembered the Drill and 3 drywall screws. There was enough of a lip on the shell that the screws held nicely. We were stopped and asked for bribes all across Mexico and were thrilled to get Stateside. The day before returning the head gasket blew, Nothing but white smoke pouring out as fast as I could add water to the radiator...…..Here is the rest of the story. I was surrounded by shade tree mechanics that knew all too well what the white smoke meant. Their faces were worse than any person could receive.....Terminal news, she's dead. I went to AutoZone auto parts and got two tubes of brass compound stop leak poured it in the radiator and told our friend, the Lord is telling me to go on to Guatemala. I sent my wife on by plane telling her that we will make it but it will not be without great difficulty, but we will be fine. No one refused. I do not know if everyone felt peace, but we knew that the presence of the Lord was there and gave us great confidence. to go. We were sailing along just fine past the Oklahoma border, only 2500 miles to go. The engine started to overheat. We filled the radiator and went again. This time the hose blew next to the thermostat housing, we cut off the damaged hose and clamped the hose, and off again. Somewhere next to Waco Texas she blew, Water went pouring from places I didn't knew existed on a 1985 dodge caravan. I took off the thermostat housing and took out the thermostat, putting the housing back on the engine block I stripped the threads. We were in the middle of nowhere in the dark with flashlights pre-cell phone days for this poor missionary. After many attempts there was no way that bolt was going back in, the threads were too far gone. Wait.....remembering I had packed a old rusty tap and die...… a perfect fit. Steve robbed a bolt from the sliding door, by then the engine had cooled enough we were off, we had time for one phone call after making it to Austin where my cousin Gordon gave us directions to get to his house. Lucky to catch him home, but he was under the weather and home. The old Dodge died in his front yard. It would not even turn over after that. The next day we spoke at his church unexpectedly and the offering was taken. Just enough for a new block. At a rehab house that Gordon was helping, there happened to be a mechanic. We spent the next 3 days putting the engine together in time to drive to Guatemala without a problem.

     Looking back on that venture, we now see that the Lord used that to take a team from Gordons church to Guatemala and many of the friendships that were hammered out on that trip have been maintained to this day. We made it all the way to Guatemala with the new engine,

Praise God and be carefull with 1985 dodge Caravans.