(reprinted from Dewayne Golighlty's blog -aka reverend rap- 2004)
Sunbury OH.: Blessed Through Adversity
I was invited to Phillips CME church in Akron, Ohio to Rap for the young people on Saturday and preach the morning message on Sunday. Everything went well, and I got on the road late that Sunday afternoon to go home. I got about 100 miles down the road and decided to get some gas. I was 22 miles from Columbus and still about 400 miles from my home in Madisonville, KY.
I filled the car and got back on the enter ramp to 71 south. Just as I was about to merge with traffic, I lost power in the car and I quickly pulled over to the side of the road and turned the car off. I got out and there was anti freeze all over the ground. Now I had a blown hose before but could not figure out why the car lost power. There were no oil leaks, and the levels in the transmission and engine were good. But when I checked the fluid on the ground, it felt like it had a mixture of anti freeze and TRANSMISSION FLUIDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!.
Oh well, now I know why I lost power, but I still didn’t know why the transmission fluid was in the anti freeze in the first place. Well I called my shade tree mechanic back in Kentucky, Terry Perkins. (actually Terry is an awesome mechanic).
And Terry told me that the anti freeze runs through the transmission to keep it cool and it sounds like the coil in radiator has ruptured and I'm getting anti freeze in the transmission and transmission fluid in the anti freeze. Duhhhhh, so does that mean I'm stuck here in whoknowswhere OHIO!. Terry said, in his best Nebo, KY accent... yep! So I got back in my car, and the Lord and I had a goooooooooooood talk. I said, ok God, I've spent most my life helping people off the highway, and I've never broken down before so far from home.
Therefore, HALLELUJAHHHHH!!!!!!! Lord! You must want me to bless someone while I'm in this predicament. Ok Lord, so who needs a blessing...lol, that was my conversation for real, because you see I knew the Lord had my situation taken care of, so, I didn’t have to pray about it, I just wanted to know what He wanted me to do while I'm waiting for the car to get fixed.
So I sat there on the highway and an Ohio State Trooper pulled up and I explained the situation to him and he said he would call me a tow truck. Well it's going on 9pm and the tow truck comes and after he hooks up the car, we make a U-turn and he asks me where I want to go. Well, there was a sign that said Delaware 12 miles, and then a marker that said Sunbury 4 miles. Well since I’m paying the guy by the mile, that choice was easy SSSSSSSSUUUUUUUNNNNBBBBBBUUUUURYYYYYYYYYYY!
On the way to Sunbury I asked him if he knew of anyone that worked on cars and he told me the town had one auto shop, and as far as he knew they did not work on transmissions and were not opened on Mondays. Hmmm, was about all I could think of at the time, but I was still staying focused on the mission. I'M BROKE DOWN AND IN THIS SITUATION BECAUSE SOMEBODY NEEDS A BLESSINGGGGG!!!
It only took a few minutes to get to Sunbury, the tow truck drivers name was Roger. He was a cool elderly white guy and as we approached Sunbury, I asked him if there were very many folk like me in Sunbury, he just chuckled and said he didn’t know for sure. I'm like WHATTTT!!! HE DIDNT KNOW FOR SURE! If he broke down in Harlem and asked me if there were any white folk in Harlem, I would just have to be honest with him and say HECCCCCCKKKKKKKKK NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...LOL. So I kind of got the impression ole' Roger was having a little fun with this thing. On our way into town we passed two police cars sitting at the neighborhood Dairy Mart, and Roger told me he would be glad to let those fellas know that I was sleeping in my car at Ruark and Sons Auto Repair on his way out. I really didn’t know if that was a good idea but Roger assured me Sunbury was really a nice small town and there was not a hotel in Sunbury.
We got to the Ruarks and after he dropped my car he checked their hours on the door and informed me that they will be open on Monday (thank you lord) at 6:30 but he was not sure when they would get to me. Hey, I knew God was in control and I knew it would be all right. It cost me $69.73 for the tow and I told him to keep the change about the same time he was telling me don't worry about the .27 cents. Roger told me that the Dairy Mart is open 24 hours and it was only about a block from Ruarks and two blocks from Town Square.
Well, I sat in my car for about 45 minutes reading a good book on Ephesians, and still thinking to myself that the Lord has me in Sunbury for a divine purpose, I decided to walk to Dairy Mart and get me a juice. Then I walked another block and sat down on a wicker chair in front of an antique store and drank my juice. I kind of nodded to all the passer-byers as they drove by and Yep!, I didn’t see any like me as I sat there for about a half-hour. My cell phone battery was about dead and I forgot and left my charger at Gary and Sherry Greens house back in Akron...duh. So I briefly called all the important people I needed to call and told them I was stranded, and I began to walk around the square back to my car to sleep for the night. The square was filled with dim lit antique shops and as I rounded my first corner I could see a light shining down the road in what appeared to be a pub.
As I got closer I discovered it was a Pizza Restaurant called Long Ranch or Longbranch Pizza. It was about 10:10 and they didn’t close till 10:30. So I went in and order some bread sticks and sauce. The store owners name was Tom and when he brought my order to the table I asked him how he was doing and he said great!. Then I asked him how was he feeling and again he said great!. I thanked him for my order, and he asked me why I asked him how he was doing, and I told him I was broke down and felt the Lord had me here for a reason. I asked if there were any hospitals around and he said no. And I said oh well, I know there is someone in need of a blessing. Tom sat down at my table while his daughter Shania was in the back cleaning things up.
I shared with Tom about my ministry in Kentucky and Tom shared with me about his relationship with the Lord and how the Lord was blessing his family and his business. Tom told me that Ruarks auto repair is also run by Christians and that I was in good hands. I thanked Tom and when I got ready to pay for the bread sticks, Tom told me not to worry about it, hes got it. As I got ready to leave, Tom told me he would be glad to give me a ride to a motel out of town, but I told him that I needed to be at the shop when it opened in the morning and that he would have to come back early in the morning to get me. So I told him that’s ok, I would be all right. Without hesitation Tom said, well why dont you sleep in my store tonight, it stays warm and you can watch TV and use the facilities if you need to.
All I could do was look at him and say thank you. Tom said no problem, just lock the back door on my out in the morning. I told Tom I needed to go back to my car and get my personals and Tom said he would still be here when I got back. I got my tooth brush and other items and when I returned it was about 10:50. We talked till almost midnight. I got to meet his daughter and of course I rapped for them and played my harmonica. Tom kind of grimaced while we were talking and I asked what was up. Tom said he had kidney stones and some times they can be very painful. He said he had already had two operations and had to have another one.
On my way to Akron, my car leaked so much anti-freeze from a broken heater coil, I had to stop in Louisville, KY and trade cars with my son. I told Daniel about the blessing and would let him know about his car latter. I slept on the long seats in the Pizza store and keep waking up because I didn’t want to be late getting back to the shop. I woke up at 6:30, freshened up and walked to Ruarks and Son. I got there about 7:20 and no one was at the shop. The first person to show up was a young man named Levi. This was his first day and the job and I helped him unload his tools. While unloading his tools Donna, one of the employees, opened the doors and took Levi in to fill out his new employee papers. A few minutes later, the owners Mr. and Mrs. Ruark showed up and totally ignored me. After I finally got their attention, everyone laughed because they thought I was with the new guy Levi. Duh, they dont want me under the hood of a car, they would get sued and I would be in Sunbury the rest of my lifeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
I introduced myself and shared with them what I thought the problem was with the car. Mr. Ruark told me his wife was a pastor and while he and Levi checked on my car we began to share about each others ministry. Pastor Jan Ruark is a pastor in the Nazarene Church and after I told her I had a prison ministry, she just lit up and told me she had a prison ministry also. She told me she helps women when they leave prison to transition back into the community by coming to a house she started called Rachel’s house, and then she yelled at me, "I know why God wanted you to stop in Sunbury so you can take the information back to Ky and start a home for men and call it Jacobs house". I just laughed and told her it sounds good, and she told me she would get me all the information I would need to start a home to help inmates transition back into the community.
Hmmm, as we continued to share, with more than a dozen cars on their lot, they put my car on the rack right away and diagnosed the problem, but everyone that came in the door while I was sitting there was told over and over again they would be able to look at their car on Wednesday. Wow, what a blessing. The business had wonderful Christian pictures hanging throughout the store and one in particular I just fell in love with. It was a picture of Jesus being crucified and I told Jan's son, Joe, I had never seen a picture like that before. Joe told me his dad brought it back with him from Arizona. I loved it. I told Pastor Jan about meeting Tom and that he allowed me to stay at his business, and told me that where my car was dropped was a Christian business. Jan told me that Tom was a Christian and asked me if I saw their sign on their door when the wrecker dropped me off. I told her no it was dark. Then she took me outside and showed me the sign and under the store title it read "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God", and all I could do was say thank you Lord.
That was until they told me the cost to fix my son's car $493.00 WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT FOURHUNDREDAND NINTYTHREEDOLLARSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS LOL. Just kidding, but not about the price, it really was $493.00, but my response. I was like ok.
They told me they gave me all the discounts they could but the radiator split in two and that it needed to be replaced and the transmission cleaned out of anti-freeze. I told them I got paid $350 for my ministering in Akron and sold $100 worth of CDs, but I had just filled my car, -$20, and paid the tow -$70, and $40 of the CD money was in checks. So minus $130, it left me with about $320 in cash and I needed some of that to get gas on the way home.
Soooooooooooo, having already cut up my credit cards, I asked them if I could give them about $300 in cash and write them a (OUT OF TOWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN CHECK!) for the rest. They said (without hesitation or even my driver’s license number) sure!. Again Thank you Lord. About that time Donna, one of the clerks said her shoulder was hurting and I asked if I could pray for it and she said sure. After praying for her, Pastor Jan went on her way to Columbus to her church, and about the time she left Tom comes in and asks if everything is going ok. I told Tom he was right, this was truly a Christian business and that I am truly blessed to have broken down in Sunbury, Ohio.
Tom told me he was on his way to open his store, and as we shook hands and embraced as he left, he placed something in my hand. Tom said he just wanted to support my ministry, and left a $100 bill in my hand. I just looked at him, and said thanks. I thanked God and told Tom I'm going to apply this to my bill because I'm a little short and how much I appreciated his kindness. Tom left and I decided to walk around town while they fixed the car. The square was antique heaven. I'm serious... there were at least two or three antique stores in each block.
I didn’t know it, but that wicker chair I sat in last night was also an antique in front of an ANTIQUE STOREEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank God it didn’t break on me. No wonder it kept creaking while I was sitting on it. The first antique store I went in was called Lindas 3. A very nice store. Killing time while waiting for my car to be repaired, I sifted through a display of paintings, pictures and antiques. After a few minutes of admiring all the great antiques in the store I saw a picture hanging on the wall that was the exact picture of Jesus I fell in love with at the repair shop. The price on the picture was $168 in the frame. So I asked the owner, Linda Powell, if she had another picture, but not in the frame. She asked me if I looked in the picture bin and I told her I had but not all of them. She began looking where I ended and PRAISE GOD!!!, pulled the picture from the bin that I had simply fallen in love with. I asked her how much and she said $30.
Gosh, I could give her the thirty dollars cash and then I would be $30 shorter than I had said I would pay for the car, or I could put it on the check, goshhhhhhhhhh, I just told her that I can't get it at this time because I promised all the cash I had on me to pay for the repairs on the car, but the next time I'm through Sunbury, I'm going to stop by and pick up THAT PICTURE. Linda took the picture, rolled it up, placed it in a tube, handed me the tube, and told me to take the picture and when I got home to mail her a check when I had the money. (speechless)
I spent the rest of the day, thanking God for allowing me to break down in...Sunbury, Ohio.
Twelve hours later and 400 miles behind me, I arrived home, not a dime in my pocket, but I was far richer than I could have ever imagined when I left home for Akron, Ohio. Though I arrived in Sunbury expecting to be a blessing to others, it was my soul that was truly blessed and touched by the wonderful people of Sunbury, Ohio on August 24, 2004. That day will always be Sunbury, Ohio day in my life. Be Blessed...Go