Donuts & Auto Parts

Donut“May I help you,” the young man said as he walked toward us with his Grandmother in tow on his arm.  Our VW Camper Bus was sitting in a small grocery store parking lot on the outskirts Bakersfield, California.   The motor’s generator had died and our last battery jump had gotten us to this place.   We had been standing beside the van wondering what to do next.

My wife and I with three toddlers had just driven 12,000 miles through the United States and Mexico with 3,000 miles to go through Canada back to home in Columbus, Ohio.  The young man continued, “Do you need to have that thing fixed?  If so, you’re in luck, right around the corner is the best VW shop in town.”  After finishing the directions, the van barely started and we limped our way around the corner to the repair shop.

The van had developed two problems during the trip, the generator dying and our master brake cylinder had started leaking pretty badly.  I had to pour break fluid in every time we stopped and I was very concerned that we could loose our brakes in the mountains and not be able to stop.

It was Saturday and the shop was only going to be open about three more hours.  That should have been plenty of time to install a generator and rebuild a master brake cylinder.  But there was a problem.  Our VW Camper Van was nearly 20 years old and they had a hard time locating a generator.  Finally they found the only parts shop in town that carried that old of a generator.  They had one left.  That was the good news; the bad news was that nobody in town had a rebuild-it kit for our master brake cylinder, or a new one, or even a used one.

By this time it was an hour until the shop closed and we decided to take a walk and pray about the problem while they installed the generator.  As we walked hand in hand I prayed, “Dear Lord, I’m really worried about our brakes.  If they would go out on the highway or in the mountains we could be killed.  Please solve this problem for us.  In Jesus name, Amen.”

About that time we were walking past a little donut shop.   It looked like a house that someone had converted into a store.  The kids were hungry so we went in to buy some donuts and head back to the repair shop.  While the kids were pointing and wanting every donut in the house, I noticed some old glass cases off to the side.

Out of curiosity, I walked over and looked into the dusty old case.  Apparently they used to sell auto parts as well as donuts!  Then my eyes landed on something familiar.  It looked like a gasket kit with the word VW in small print.  The rest of the package was too dirty to read.  I called the owner over and she unlocked the case and handed it to me.  I cleaned off the dirt and it was a master brake cylinder rebuild-it kit for the exact same make, model and year as our van!  I was amazed!

Heading back to the repair shop with our brake parts we were praising the Lord for hearing and answering our prayer.  We were all happy.  My wife and I were full of joy and the kids were full of donuts.

Copyright © 2009 by William D. (Nick) Nichols

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