Once again we find ourselves in Dallas, TX having safely arrived last evening. We left home Friday afternoon in caravan with our teammates, the O’Briens, who were moving to the USA.
Months ago I had a decision to make. Should I fly to Dallas alone or perhaps with Cameron so that I could attend next week’s team leader meetings and so that Cameron could attend this week’s MK Connection conference. Bethie want to come up too and it turned out that she was asked to participate in the MK conference, so it was clear we should drive.
Well over a month ago the O’Briens decided to make their final departure by car late in July. However, in the past 2 weeks or so they realized that they didn’t need to wait so long to move and other details came up that meant they really needed to leave as soon as possible. So, just over a week ago they decided to bump up their departure by several weeks and join us in our trek to the border. We committed to helping them as they’d need some of our van space for some of their things. They’d also need help in Laredo moving things from both our vans and a storage unit into a rental truck. We’d all drive up to near Dallas to unload the rental truck into another storage unit because they need a month or two before they can move their things further.
So, Thursday night I was just about to head to bed when I noticed a post from some missionary acquaintances from Guadalajara who had just that day received a 5 day permission to drive their vehicle to the border. They had run into a similar problem with their car papers that my mother-in-law had encountered in May and so they had a 5 day window to drive to the border to clear up the legal issues with their papers.
They did not know that we were traveling up and unbeknownst to us, they had decided they’d leave immediately (Friday) and drive half-way to the border and stay in the same town and the same hotel that we were planning to stop at! Amazing!
On Friday evening, we arrived about 1/2 hour before they did. We enjoyed a late dinner with them and then on Saturday we drove up to the border. This couple (missionaries with TEAM) graciously stayed with us through a difficult time getting the truck rental (apparently there were some miscommunications and it wasn’t at all certain that there even was a truck in all of Laredo for the O’Briens) and finally to the storage unit (with the last truck in Laredo!) to unload it in the 109 degree heat! Is there any lack of evidence for the reality of Christ? Would else would do this but believers?!?
On Sunday morning we got up at 5:30 a.m. and once more hit the road early. At San Antonio it began raining hard with a strong wind. We were concerned but the traffic was still moderately light and we made it through downtown and were on our way north out of that city with a heavy rain.
We were noting aloud the fact that the traffic seemed to be driving way too fast for such conditions with blinding rain, wind, and ponding on the roadway. Not too far north of San Antonio we were passed by an ambulance in a hurry…then another…then firetrucks, then police cars…and the traffic was quickly coming to a stop. There had been an accident on our northbound side of I-35 and we weren’t far from it. After squeezing through the accident scene within 5 to 10 minutes, we were so thankful that we weren’t involved and were able to get around it.
Within minutes of our passing this scene, the highway was shut down…for over 3 hours! We had just made it past! The O’Briens had a deadline with the storage facility b/c it closed at 5 p.m. We made it with an hour to spare, but had we left just minutes later, we wouldn’t have made it to the storage facility. It would have been quite difficult to figure out what to do.
So, once again, the Lord has ordered our steps…and that of the O’Briens, and that of the Rios couple who joined up with us and were such a big help on Saturday. What more can I say? The Lord is good.
The first of those wrecks happened just before 10:30am in the 800 block of northbound I-35 near Walnut Avenue (across from the Red Roof Inn). The 3-vehicle collision involved a pick-up truck, a 4-door sedan, and an 18-wheeler. New Braunfels Police say their initial investigation shows the sedan lost control on the wet highway and began to spin before stopping in the middle lane and facing the wrong direction. The 18-wheeler wasn’t able to stop in time to avoid the crash and struck the sedan, forcing the car into the center retaining wall, where it caught fire. Meanwhile, the 18-wheeler jackknifed and struck the pickup truck that was also trying to avoid the accident. New Braunfels Police, Fire, and EMS arrived in minutes and began blocking off the highway and treating the victims. The driver and passenger of the sedan (a 31-year old man and a 29-year old woman) suffered serious injuries and Airlife landed directly on the highway, flying them to University Hospital in San Antonio. At last check they were listed in critical but stable condition. A 14-year old girl in the pickup truck was trapped following the wreck and crews had to use the Jaws of Life to free her before she was taken to Christus New Braunfels with non-life threatening injuries. That giant mess on the highway, and the resulting EMS and Airlife action, forced the closure of the entire northbound side of the highway for about an hour and a half. That caused a massive traffic backup on I-35 that wasn’t cleared up until after 12:30pm.