Friday, June 3, 2011

The Retirement of Wilberforce

June 3 - Day 18, I think
Albuquerque, NM
Written By Viking

I have some tremendous, breaking news! I have decided to shave. We've had so much sun this week that the sun has been bleaching my facial hair as fast as it's been growing! I think it would be really weird and unique to have a completely bleached beard, but for the sake of personal hygiene and professionalism, I will continue to shave it.

Other than that, what else has happened??

My cousin was fantastic and put together a little promo video for Rev and I to use for the duration of our trip. It was fun to do, and we hope that it will continue to generate interest and action. It can be viewed on youtube at

There's a cat sitting next to me on a bed that really seems to want to crawl onto my lap where the keyboard is sitting. She was there a minute ago but I told her I had a blog to write. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's back up, at least to this morning.

We woke up. I grabbed my cellphone and told Brady I was going to go for a run and maybe even find some phone signal. The run was invigorating, and the service was briefly found. We got our things together, discussed a passage of I Peter together, and waited for our ride.

If you read the prievious blog you are aware that we were the grateful recipients of a tremendous blessing today. A pastor of a church here in Albuquerque took his day to drive a truck 100 miles to pick us up and bring us to a Honda dealer in his city. This isn't small stuff. We've never met him before today. God has children all over the world, though, and by noon we were at a Honda dealer.

I warned the dealer of my coming. I tried to explain what we were doing, but most people think they just misunderstood us when we said we are riding scooters around the country. This gentleman thought we were in an rv or something and were just stopping to get our little toy fixed. Nope. As we were walking out he said, "So it's leaking a little oil, huh?" I warned him that it was probably much worse than he envisioned. Hemorrhaging oil out its' pores would be a more apt description of the problem. He soon realized that we were really riding the scooters on our trip, not some rv. He listened to Wilberforce run for a few seconds and went to get the service manager. He came out and I explained my entire history with Wilberforce to him, and then started her up. Within two seconds he sharply said to shut it off. With pain in his voice that a could only come from a man who's worked on Hondas for 40 years, he said, "Your engine's shot."

It would obviously need to be dismantled to diagnose the problem accurately, but it's a good bet that the crankshaft is gone, the seals are all broken, and any number of residual problems could exist. His off-the-cuff estimate for repair costs was $2000-$3000. You can buy a new Honda Ruckus for $2,500.

I bought my scooter a year ago. In that time I have ridden her nearly 8,000 miles, bringing her within 15 miles of 8,500 on her odometer. June 2nd was her last day. I will admit that I was nearly crying when she wouldn't move another inch on the road yesterday. She carried me to the airport as I learned to fly last summer, she took me all over Fargo, ND, she carried me 1,600 miles to Michigan last summer so I could be in a wedding of a great couple. She helped me to get my bearings in Minneapolis, and then endured most of the harsh winter months as I subjected her to roads and temperatures that no small engine should ever have to experience. It was a thrill to share the joy that she brought me with the select few people who I entrusted the controls to. I even gave a ride to a Canadian trucker once. Long story. More than anything, though, is the opportunities that God gave me to be a light for Him as I rode her.

From the dealer we were taken to Desert Springs Church and given the conference room to pray, think, formulate a plan, and patiently discern what God's will is. So here we stand:
- Wilberforce is finished. There would be no logic in fixing her when a new one can be purchased for the same price. Rev and I agreed going in that $1,000 would be our limit for repair costs.
- Splitting up is an option, but it's a bad one. Our new pastor friend reminded us that Paul didn't travel alone, and that seems to be a good missions format to follow.
- There are scooters here at dealerships that can be purchased with a warranty to alleviate any risk of a costly breakdown again.
- There are some scooters for sale online here in this town that I don't feel like spelling over and over. We will be looking at at least one of them tomorrow, but the lack of a warranty has me very wary right now.

A secretary at the church and her husband graciously opened up their home to us for the weekend, and they even have a convertible they said I could drive on Route 66 for a while, if I wanted to! :) So Brady and I have a very comfortable home for the weekend. This last day has been replete with abundant blessings. Too many to count. We are so helpless, but this church and their family here has been supporting us in every way. It is humbling, but God is being glorified.

Brady and I will be staying here until at least Monday morning. We are patiently waiting to see what doors God may open and what people he will direct across our paths this weekend. The only discouraging thing about this breakdown experience is that we had to cancel speaking opportunities at three different churches in the Flagstaff, AZ area this Sunday. We are seeking opportunities here in Albuquerque so that we won't lose an opportunity to share with God's people the burden on our hearts. We are ahead of schedule, so this brief delay won't set us back at all in that respect.

Something amazing is going to happen through this, and God will be glorified. His church will be encouraged, their faith strengthened, and our scooter trip will continue on. Our prayer is that even unbelievers will turn to and glorify God through our testimony of his provision.

God is capable of so much. What we once would have considered to be an incredible blessing is becoming commonplace in this trip. Does that mean we don't appreciate the blessings much? We pray that isn't the case. But do you know what I mean? We are holding God, the Holy Spirit, we're holding him back. With our pride, with our carefulness, and with our... lack of trust. You know what? Read 'Forgotten God' by Francis Chan. He's a much better communicator than I am. We aren't claiming to be the all-trusting superhero's of the Christian faith. This experience is showing me anew just how much pride and a desire for self-sufficiency is still present in my heart. It's also forcing us to be, as I said before, helpless. God is insisting that we stretch our faith and trust in him even more. We're okay with that.

Time for bed. Be encouraged, even by this unfinished story of God's abundant provision. It will have a God-glorifying ending. Brady and I are both in great spirits. We aren't discouraged by this, but look forward to what God will do. There is some stress involved in the decisions to be made, but please pray that Satan doesn't cause a wedge to come into our summer ministry through this. God is so good.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." John 16:33


  1. 1) Your link doesn't work.

    2) Praying for you.

  2. To alleviate the link problem (it works on our iPad) a YouTube search for moped justice mission should bring you to two related videos.

  3. That or just copy it to the web browser