My steering wheel suddenly felt like I was maneuvering a two-ton weight. Turns out steering fluid can look like it’s in there—but it’s not. In my Ford Focus’ case, old fluid stained the container at “full”, while slowly leaking out.
Late one night that leak burst, splattering fluid across my friend’s driveway.
I was stranded.
My car was crammed with all of my suitcases—I was just about to join my team on campus preparing for our latest Discipleship Training School (DTS). Twenty-five people from seven countries were arriving in New Zealand for the five-month course, to learn how to know God deeper and make Him known across the nations.
This was not the time to deal with a broken-down car.
A friend picked me (and all my suitcases) up, and I tried not to cry. This was the start of my busiest five months, and my one lifeline was that I had a car. I could escape “normal life” if and when I wanted to. I didn’t need to depend on anyone else, and I could avoid the not-so-fun parts of community living at least for a few hours. Not anymore.
For the next few weeks, I juggled classes and activities for the DTS, asking mechanic friends to check my car out. I tried looking for a way to avoid getting a tow truck, but it just wasn’t working.
Meanwhile, I was still stranded.
I mean, there are worse places to be stuck. Rolling green hills dotted with fluffy sheep and majestic trees straight out of Lord of the Rings surround the campus. You start to get why so many movies are filmed in New Zealand. But when you live ten minute’s drive from the nearest supermarket, and city buses don’t come past your campus? Well, I wanted my Ford Focus more than ever.
Yet I started to change, so gradually I didn’t even notice.
Instead of distracting myself when I couldn’t cope with community living, I started to go to the Prayer Room and journal to God about it. Instead of isolating myself when I had a hard day, I started to pull a friend aside and ask to chat. Since it was winter, we made oatmeal with golden syrup and huddled around our heater. This turned into “oatmeal parties”—a dozen friends crammed into our small room and overflowed on the doorstep outside, laughing and swapping stories into the night.
By the time my car was towed and repaired, I discovered afresh that God was with me, and wanted to help when things got hard. And even when community living drove me crazy, I found that the people God placed around me became my best friends.
Turns out God can use anything—even being stranded without a car—for my good.
I’m so thankful.
YWAM Furnace NZ Media Team