God in the Driver’s Seat


The Witmer Family

Phil and Terry Witmer with sons, Luke and Destin

Phil and Terry Witmer
with sons, Luke and Destin

Location: La Mesa, Colombia
Term start date: 10/01/2010
Home congregation: Mount Clinton Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va.
Ministry: Phil and Terry work with the Mennonite church and Colegio Americano Menno in La Mesa, participating in a variety of local and regional ministries.
Blog: http://colombianwit.blogspot.com

Our family saw the amazing extent of Colombian hospitality recently when, on our trip back to La Mesa after traveling with Phil’s parents, our vehicle suddenly would not start. After asking a nearby restaurant owner where the closest mechanic was, Phil climbed into the vehicle to try once more. We waited hopefully.


In the silence that followed, Luke’s little voice piped up, “Well, there’s only one thing to do: Pray!”

We were still hours from La Mesa, in a town where we knew no one, saw no hotels, and didn’t know if towing service existed. We had no idea how to navigate car troubles in Colombia. We knew we needed God’s intervention.

Phil said, “You’re right, Luke. Let’s pray.” We bowed our heads as Phil led us in prayer. I could feel each one earnestly praying for God’s help.

As Phil and I climbed out of the vehicle to walk to the mechanic, a man approached from the car that had just pulled into the empty space beside us. He must have heard Phil trying to start the vehicle, for he immediately offered help. Phil gratefully accepted, and opened the hood for the man, Fabian, to look in. He confidently started checking the fuel injection system. It turns out he was a former mechanic who happened to have owned two Chevrolet Rodeos just like the one we were driving.

Within five minutes he had diagnosed the problem as a burnedup sensor on the fuel injection system. He called a friend in town, had him deliver the part, and installed it without any difficulty.

The vehicle started immediately.

We found an ATM from our bank right across the street, withdrew the money for the new sensor, and sent it along with Fabian to the parts store owner. Before we left, we told Fabian that he had been our answer to prayer. He seemed surprised and thoughtful. Our families exchanged names and contact information, offering hospitality in our respective towns. As we drove home, we marveled at the ways God reveals his love for us, this time, hand-delivered by the husband of a woman three months pregnant and the father of a 9-year-old daughter, who took an hour and a half out of his life to help a bunch of foreigners he didn’t know. That’s Colombia. That’s our God at work. In our weakness, his strength is made known.

Contributed by Terry Witmer

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