Our choir recently set out on our newly purchased bus for a two-day, one-night trip. This trip came on the heels of our homecoming and a very busy weekend. Our plan was to visit a church in Somerset on Sunday morning, a church in Louisville on Sunday evening, and then another Louisville church on Monday morning. Our plans were not God’s plans.
Our bus gave us trouble on the way to Somerset. We barely made it in time for the 11 a.m. service, but we had a great visit and were tremendously blessed financially and in other ways by the Ferguson Baptist Church. After lunch, we set out for Louisville. We only made it a couple of miles out of Somerset before the bus overheated and burst a hose.
Some friends of the school had traveled from Lexington to Somerset that day to hear the choir. Their son attended Oneida and sang in our choir some years ago. Fortunately, they were following the bus when we broke down. I jumped in the car with them and headed back into Somerset to find some help.
Not long after we broke down, a local pastor stopped to help and called a mechanic who came to our rescue. Another gentleman from the area who owned an auto sales shop also stopped to help us. Some folks from Ferguson Baptist also worked to enable us to get the help we needed.
About an hour and 45 minutes later, our bus was repaired and we were back on the road for Louisville. If we didn’t have any other hold-ups, we could make our 6 p.m. scheduled service in Louisville.
Less than 10 miles down the road, our bus began to overheat again. After some periodic stopping and assessing, we eventually broke down again in Salvisa (Mercer County).
As I was on the phone making calls to Louisville, my sister who lived nearby, and others, a dear lady stopped. She said, “I saw the Oneida logo, and just had to stop to help.” I told her of our now failed attempt to get to Louisville for a 6 p.m. service, and she quickly said, “Why don’t you come sing at my church, Salvisa Baptist Church, which is just 1.5 miles from here?”
I felt terrible about not making our visit to Highview Baptist Church, but perhaps the Lord had ordained this impromptu visit to Salvisa Baptist.
Within 10 minutes, her pastor arrived on the scene with their church bus. He, too, invited us to share in their service. I said, “Are you sure that’s okay?” This gracious pastor said, “I learned a long time ago not to interrupt God’s interruptions.”
He then made two trips to haul our kids to their church. Once at the church, the kids sang and I shared about OBI. While we were sharing, the fine people of Salvisa Baptist were making arrangements to feed us, house us, and get our bus off the road.
Part 2 to follow in two weeks …
Larry Gritton is the president of Oneida Baptist Institute.