God’s Miraculous Provision
OUR HEARTS ARE FULL!! “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23). My family and I stand in ABSOLUTE AWE over how God miraculously protected me through the life-threatening accident I faced a few weeks ago. From that moment to today, we have seen nothing but His tender hand lead and guide us through the many details leading to where we are now. We could sense the warmth of His smile through the entire process!
I was able to get home safely late Monday night on May 4th after driving 750 miles in a rental minivan. That evening, Katie and I posted the story about God’s miraculous protection. Over the next few days, I did not develop any soreness or pain. I was able to go on physically as if nothing had ever happened. Amazing!
Someone asked me on the phone Monday while driving home, “Why would God make you go through this?? …To bring you to the brink of death?” I responded, “I don’t know, but I do know that He wants to somehow reveal His glory through it!”
The Bible says in I Peter 4:12-13, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
Katie and I had no idea how God was going to MIGHTILY work!!
On Tuesday, we prayerfully began the process of looking at vehicles online. Such a “needle in a haystack”! For over a year, Katie and I had been asking the Lord when the right time would be for us to upgrade from our Chevy Express to a more spacious vehicle like the Mercedes Sprinter. We never had peace, but now we were wondering if this was the time.
We discovered that most Mercedes Sprinters were over 9 feet tall and would not be able to fit through most drive-thrus. (Sadly, this was a make-or-break factor for us…. For as you can imagine, when you are living on the road with small children, it is a necessity!) That same Tuesday morning, our dear friends Pastor Mike Wells and Bro. Jack Bachman of Parkside Baptist Church reached out and shared with us how their college’s tour groups enjoyed using the Ford Transit 350. Furthermore, my mechanic friend Stephen Swaffer at our home church shared with me the great reviews the 2019 Ford Transit was receiving from customers. We found out that these vehicles offered both high-roof vans (over 9 feet) and mid-roof vans (around 8.3 feet tall). That night, we came across a 2019 Ford Transit 350 in Bloomington, IL with only 15,800 miles on it. We both commented how we liked it, it had tinted windows, and the price seemed reasonable. We found 4 other 2019 Transits within a five hour radius and began to pray if God would have us to pursue any of these.
Wednesday morning, I returned the rental van in Cedar Rapids, IA at the airport (50 minutes north of our house) accompanied by my good friend Abe Koehn from our home church. Earlier that morning, I came across a high mileage 2018 Transit mid-roof for sale at a dealership that was along our way back from the airport. It was so wonderful to take it for a test drive and experience how it felt since it was a higher roofed vehicle than what I was accustomed to. Even this detail was a blessing from the Lord to my heart — the fact that I would not have to go out of my way AT ALL to find a Transit similar to what we were praying about getting. I was happy that this van did not feel out of control or easily blown about when I test drove it (which was a concern Katie and I had).
A little further back south now in Iowa City, we stopped at another dealership where I could test drive a 2019 high-roof Transit, a high roof Mercedes Sprinter, and 2019 Chevy Express van (like we had). It was great to see all three of them parked next to each other so I could get a feel for the size difference. Being able to test drive these ruled out any thoughts of us getting the high-roofed vehicles (so tall I could stand up in them completely) because they felt a little unstable on the highway (at least for me).
As Abe and I drove home, I expressed to him my liking of the mid-roof Transit. I proceeded to even comment that we had come across one in Bloomington, IL that Katie and I liked and felt somewhat endeared to. I commented, “I’m not saying that is the van we are going to get — I don’t know what the Lord has — but we did really seem to like that one.” Abe smiled and replied, “Well, you never know, sometimes there is something to that.”
On Wednesday, Katie and I were amazed and humbled by the support of so many people from around the nation. Many donated funds to our ministry to help us purchase a new vehicle. A large host of folks also texted, messaged, and shared their love and prayers for us during this whirlwind of a time. It was SUCH a blessing and an encouragement!
Thursday, we had peace to begin price negotiating with a few different dealerships. Meanwhile, we were working on getting everything worked out with our insurance. We were waiting to find out when the vehicle would be able to be inspected and when we would actually know if it was truly totaled or not (we believed and were praying that it would be).
That night, the Lord put is in contact with a brother in Christ up in the Cedar Rapids area who is the pricing manager for a very large car dealership in Iowa. He said, “Bro. Garraway, you don’t know me, but I feel like I know you very well because we love your music and your ministry and show all of your videos at our church…. I heard that you were in a difficult situation and wanted to see what I could do to help.” I was stunned and humbled. Wow! I proceeded to share with him what vehicle we were looking for and he said that he would look if they had anything like that available that he could get to us at an excellent rate. Of course, we both understood that there was no guarantee that something could work out in that short amount of time, but the fact that he had reached out and wanted to help was such an encouragement to us.
On Friday, we received word that our inspection was going to happen either today or on Monday. We still owed $5,740 on the van and I figured that we would not be getting much for the van because it already had over 160,000 miles on it. But that was okay! We knew that God would provide for us.
Our dealership friend called me that night and sadly shared that they did not have anything like what I was looking for. He mentioned that they could get something at a car auction if we had the time but we both knew that wouldn’t work out since my family and I were to leave in less than a week. He said, “If you would, send me the VIN numbers of the vehicles you’re praying about. I would love to look into them; I will be able to check more into their background for you and let you know what I can find on them and which one would be the best option.”
A little while later, he texted me back and said — “From where I’m sitting and if I were in your shoes, the van that I would go with is this one here in Bloomington, IL….” I just smiled. He had no idea that this was the one that Katie and I were already getting a peace about purchasing — and his recommendation was the final confirmation we needed from the Lord!
I still had not yet received word from my insurance about the status of our Chevy van. I really wanted to know whether the van was totaled or not. God answered our prayers! About 30 minutes before we pulled into the car dealership’s parking lot on Monday to purchase the new vehicle, I received an email from our insurance that the inspection had been complete and the old van was considered to be a total loss. Praise God!
After taxes, tags, and everything — we were able to purchase this 2019 Ford Transit 350 with only 15,800 miles for $31,500.
Friends from around the nation GENEROUSLY gave. It was extremely humbling; Katie and I have wept and rejoiced much over the past week — blown away by the goodness of God. Over $21,000 was donated for us to purchase our new vehicle!
Furthermore, our insurance will be giving us around $12,500 — which was completely unexpected! We will then deduct what we still owe on the Chevy van, leaving us with $6,700 that we will use to pay on the remainder of what we owe for our new vehicle. In total — God gave us $27,700 through His people and these circumstances!!
Before we left town for our summer meetings on Friday morning, we were able to get our vehicle’s tags — which was God’s intervention. All government agencies are still “closed” in Iowa, but when I called the ladies at the treasurer’s office and explained our situation, the Lord smiled upon us. They were so kind to let me drop off our title, paperwork, and payment in the deposit box and within 15 minutes they gave us our registration and plates!
This vehicle is a huge upgrade for our family. We were able to take the back two rows of seats out. I can stand up straight inside the vehicle, if I tilt my head over to the side. Amazing! We are so thrilled how easily it is to pack and all the space it comfortably yields. What a tremendous blessing!
Katie and I are humbled that God would entrust us with such a marvelous story of His grace and provision! We certainly do not deserve such kindness. The way we look at it — the vehicle that we are now driving is God’s vehicle that has been provided to our ministry by God’s people. Thank you so much, friends, for your investment into our ministry. We are extremely grateful to each of you who sacrificially gave and prayed for us during this time. Thank you for your help to get us back on the road to travel full-time across our nation. Our hearts burn for revival and the wonderful working of God in our generation. We know that there is still hope. GOD CAN!! We love you all.
For the Lord’s Glory & the Gospel’s sake,
EVANGELIST CALEB GARRAWAY