The missionary adventures of the Stimpson family


Sunday, our car broke down. It didn’t become completely undriveable, like a dead battery or bad alternator, it’s just that it would overheat every 2 miles, and it had no power steering, and the battery was slowly losing its charge, and the engine belt had fallen off, and smoke was billowing out the back. The end result was that I found myself stuck at a McDonald’s in Pewaukee, still about 20 miles from my home, on my way from one church service to another, wondering what God was gonna do to get me out of this one.

My pastor was shortly behind me, so I wasn’t worried about a ride, and rightly so because he picked me up a few minutes later. What was on my mind was that we’d put a lot of money into the van already just to keep it running, we couldn’t afford any more repairs, and I had to somehow figure out how to get my family around without a vehicle.

And we’re leaving for Romania in 3 months!

Thanks to my pastor, I got back home safe and sound, and thanks to a good friend, I limped my car into a garage the next day to let the mechanics have a look. Their grand total on the repairs needed? $2497.90.


Well, we’d survived a day without a car, so we could handle some more. We planned on scrapping it and just using the bus and praying for God to provide a loaner vehicle for a few months before leaving.

God had better plans. 🙂

After we got home, Jessie and I put out a quick Facebook notice about needing prayers for our van situation and sent an email to the 200+ people on our email list.

A few hours later, I was on the phone with a man I’ve never met, explaining our situation.

“If you can get your van towed here, I’ll fix it for you for free,” he told me.


“Well, you might have to pay $100-$150 in parts, but I’ll see what I can cover.”

Meet Dan. He fixes cars. And when people can’t pay, he does it for free. Dan is a professional mechanic, so he fixes cars for a living. In his spare time (pun intended), he tends to do one of two things – he either fixes more cars, or he helps his wife raise the 14 children they’ve adopted. Yeah, 14. Let it sink in a bit.

Well, Dan’s bid of “free” seemed a lot better than the garage’s $2497.90, so I got the van towed and let him do the rest. A day later, I picked up the van, completely fixed and running great, still never having met Dan in person. And, to top it all off, Dan paid for all the parts too, so all I had to pay was the towing fee.

Thank you, Jesus! I am continually in awe of how good He is, and how awesome His church can be. When all was said and done, we had 2 people offer to loan us cars for 3 months, one of which I’ve never met in person, we had 2 others loan us cars to use for the day, and we had over $600 of donations come in for repairs which we’ll now be able to use to get passports. God is good, and, man, I love His people too!

As we’re gearing up for Romania, God keeps reminding me over and over again that we can trust Him, that He’s got everything under control, and that, if everything falls apart on us, He can come in with a mechanic to fix it all up for free.


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