Presidential Blessing: February 11, 2017

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Presidential Blessing: February 11, 2017
Greetings from Loma Linda, CA! This week I attended a productive NAD Conference Presidents’ Council. It was good to rub shoulders with fellow colleagues and hear about the progress of God’s work in North America. This was a positive experience.
However, I faced some challenges when I was making my way here… On Monday, I left Abbotsford at 2:00 am in order to catch a flight in Seattle at 6:45 am. The roads were not so bad on the Canadian side… I left the CRV, 4 wheel drive, at home for my wife and children and I drove our Honda Accord, with snow tires, across the border. That was a smooth crossing, especially at that time of the day. Then, I stopped at a gas station, filled the tank, and continued my trip towards Seattle. Not for long… 4.8 kms inside of the USA I encountered a terrible snow storm… The wind was bringing lots of snow to the road and I could hardly see anything. The road was completely covered with snow… As I could not go back, I tried to go around it… until my car got fully stuck – it stopped in the middle of the road and it would not move at all. I tried to stay calm and use my snow driving abilities. That was in vain. I did not hesitate and called 911. I explained my predicament and requested help. The friendly agent asked me four questions: Are you okay? Are you warm? Do you have enough gas in your car’s tank? Do you have food? I answered yes to all of those questions. Then she said: “I am sorry we cannot help you this evening. Someone will help you in the morning.” I asked – why? She replied: “The road you are on has been closed and we have other more critical cases to take care of.” That sounded reasonable, especially because I had answered yes to all of those relevant questions. However, I felt frustrated because no one at the border told me that the road was closed. I would have gone back home…

Well, what should I do? I started to call all towing companies I could find on google – no avail. They were extremely busy. I taught about the uncomfortableness and danger of sleeping in the middle of the road… but the road was closed, what could I do? I prayed and asked God for a solution that seemed impossible. A few minutes later, out of nowhere, two gentlemen (angels in snow pants) came to my rescue. They shovelled the snow around my car and pushed it hard. My car moved and I was out of the snow! They told me that the road was better from that point towards Lynden. That was 3:10 am. I thought I could still reach Seattle and catch my flight… I drove another 5 kms and then I saw a 4x4 in front of me “struggling” to go through some snow in the road. That was the sign… I made an “U Turn” and decided to go back home. As I drove back, the place where I got stuck seemed ok, clean… I wanted to go home… I drove smoothly but determined as the road “seemed” not as bad as the first time, but my car got stuck again. I said oh no… Once more, out of nowhere, two other gentlemen came to my rescue. They pushed my car back and I decided to sleep by the road, which I did. Wow, all my snow driving experience was of no help. I had come down the Connector and Coquihalla Hwys on Saturday evening… and got stuck 8 kms from home…
I thought of some spiritual lessons out of this experience: The officer at the border gave me no warning about the danger. In contrast, the Bible alerts us of an ongoing battle and that our enemy is ready to devour us (I Peter 5:8). I should not have taken the risk under those weather conditions. God’s Word tells us not to be presumptuous (Luke 4:12). 9 1 1 is a great service, but it can be overly busy… 1 2 1 with God –   Prayer – always works, especially when we realize and confess that we made a mistake (Jer. 33:3). God sends his angels (or agents) to our rescue (Psalm 34:7; 91:11-12). Also, I received grace! The Alaska Airlines agent after hearing my story was compassionate and allowed me to use the same air ticket to embark on the next available flight at no extra cost.Grace! Isn’t that what God is all about? However, as we were imparted grace, God expects us to share it with others!
Happy Sabbath!
In His Service,        
Wesley Torres, D.Min.