We could hardly have figured out a worse predicament. We had just left a lovely weekend with Liberia friends at a reunion and were 25 minutes down the road when our engine light came on. It was pouring rain, on a Sunday evening, in a town whose name we could hardly pronounce and our power was going out. The windshield wipers were going slower and slower so we pulled in to a small gas station. On my dad's way in to see what he could do, he happened to ask 3 country boys standing around outside if they knew where he could find an alternator, since he was fairly sure that was the problem. They told him there wasn't much around so we decided to keep on going and see if we could make it to a place with more options. We had hardly started when he figured out we wouldn't make it so we pulled into a nearby bank parking lot to make some calls. My dad went back to the same gas station to see what he could do and the aforementioned boys were still there and remarked that we hadn't gotten very far. My dad soon came back and we waited in the pouring rain, trying to figure out what to do, when they drove up in their big, black truck. They jumped out and said they had been talking among themselves, trying to figure out how they would feel if they were traveling through GA and got stuck with the same problem, so they decided to come see what they could do. Turns out one of them works for a junk yard, so he thought he could get an alternator for us. They roared off and returned 15 minutes later with two alternators. They grabbed the second one last minute in case the first didn't fit and it turned out to be a smart move. They labored away in the pouring rain, bent over our van, taking the old alternator out and putting the new one in, while we sat in the van, slack-jawed that these people were taking time to help us (and we weren't even in the South!) The Lord heard many bits of thanksgiving and beseechings of blessing for these men as they toiled away. They got the alternator put in, jumped off the van for us and made sure it was working properly. We paid them well, and thanked them profusely for their labors but they kinda shrugged it off and said maybe if they are ever in the same shoes, someone will return the favor.
It's easy to get jaded in a world full of murders and rapes and kidnappings and suicides. World events are hostile and uncertain. But because of three unselfish young men, goodwill and compassion reigned supreme and became proof that they really do exist. Kindness is a universal gift, and sometimes it drives a black truck.