If we'd never had a problem
we wouldn't know that He could solve 'em
(from a song sung by Gloria Gaither)
Or work in Mexico is with a migrant population who work in the fields on a seasonal basis. That means that we have to be somewhat mobile. That's one of the reasons that we are so thankful for God's gracious provision to us of a motor home in which to travel and live. Another huge advantage of traveling in a motor home is that when we cross the border into Mexico, we are very seldom questioned about what we are carrying with us, even though we are carrying large quantities of Gospel literature, and gospel recordings in various languages. Even the quantities of blank CDs and DVDs and the duplicator we are carrying doesn't draw questions from the border guards. For quite a few years we had a 1975 model Dodge motor home until it was pretty much worn out. For several years we sort of put out the word that we needed a later model and a larger motor home, but for several years nothing like that happened, so we just kept driving our old Dodge. We had a number of interesting experiences involving breakdowns on the highway, and the obvious presence and protection of the Lord. What a blessing it is to know that our heavenly Father is always watching over us! Here's an account that happened the year our motor home turned 30:
Thursday, Dec. 1, 2005
After a great deal of work on the motor home, (and Ford van), at last on Wednesday morning we left here planning to cross the line at Nogales. We didn't get that far. The dual wheels on the back left suddenly came off and went bounding off to parts unknown, and the left rear corner of the motor home came down hard on the paving. Sparks flew and the motor home swerved and tipped, but it didn't tip over, and then came to a reluctant stop half on the narrow shoulder and half in the traffic lane.
Above shows how the tires destroyed the corner of the motor home body. No serious damage was done to the frame or alignment. And none at all to my dear wife or myself, or any other vehicle or individual.
Note the damage to the hub:
We retraced the road several hundred feet, and found one of the two wayward tires. The other was not to be found.
A few hours and $275.00 later a huge tow truck delivered us to the churchyard of Sonoita Bible Church, Where we have friends. (Insurance that I had forgotten that we had eventually paid that tow bill.)
Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2, 2005-
-We spent in Tucson getting parts, and the following day putting the mechanical pieces back together, and then driving it back to Bisbee to begin essential repairs to the frame and body. Got a start on it. Found a good used hub, and another rim. We had an extra tire already.
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2005
We spent with the Lord's people and with family. Didn't get much done on the motor home,
Monday, Dec. 5, 2005
Spent the day continuing to rebuild the rear left corner of the motor home. Rust and rot for thirty years (it's a model 1975) has greatly weakened the structure. We are thankful that the damage was manageable. In fact the only major difference to the motor home will be that the power plant will no longer be a part of it. The power plant was not damaged, but the mounting for it was destroyed. That corner of the motor home will now be a storage compartment. (More pictures below.) Tuesday night we pulled out and parked along the road so as to get an early start next day. Here (below) – three views of the damage. First alongside the road – an AZ. State Patrolman directing traffic, since we were partly blocking one lane. Then parked in our yard at Bisbee after we drove it home and removed the power plant and most of the damaged parts of the frame and support for the power plant. Third picture is the power plant which we had seldom had a call to use. We left it home, and it eventually went to Michoacan to be used or sold by a servant of the Lord.
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005
We got away early toward Mexico. No problems with the motor home. Two hours at the line waiting for papers, and when they came - big surprise! The entry papers for the motor home are good for ten years! I don't know what that will mean in the long run. By that time the motor home will be forty years old, and Ella and I will be 75
Several years before all of this the motor developed a "rod-knock". My son in law and I removed the pan and decided that just replacing the rod bearings would put it back in service, but the experience made me wonder how much life this old engine still had. It was still running, but rattled some on startup.
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2005
On South through Hermosillo, Guaymas, Obregon, Navajoa, and then an old problem showed up again. Fueling problems. Is it the filter system? Or Carburetor, or both? Stranded on the median of the highway for the night. But just for the night. I disconnected the van from the motor home and took the carburetor back to Navajoa where I found a specialist who overhauled it. Started right up and ran good when I put it back on. On Thursday we arrived at our winter home (parking place) near Culiacan, Sinaloa to begin visiting the camps.
Sequel: Circa 2009, a friend here in Bisbee called us and gave us two motor homes. One was a tiny little four cylinder one built on the frame of a Renault van. That one went to a partner in ministry working with migrant workers in Florida. The other one was more than ten years newer than our old Dodge, and about a bedroom longer! Have we had any problems with that one? Yes! But we know the Problem Solver.
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© Dave & Ella McMullen, 2011
July 10, 2011