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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


December 26, 1993

LOST KEYS

Considering where I was staying at the mission in Casa Grande, AZ, I had a pretty goodnight even though the bed seemed to shake whenever a train rolled passed the mission. Nobody was up when I left the mission in a light drizzle. I rode around town some before finding a Lutheran church. I got there a bit early and waited for the Sunday school class to start but there wasn't any. Instead I was given permission to dry out some in the fellowship hall where I drank some hot tea, ate some cookies, and worked on my journal. The service was okay but there was no response from anybody afterwords.

Before leaving town, I went back to the mission to say thank you. I locked up the bike up front and went to see if anybody was in the church but there wasn't anybody there in the building. When I went back to the bike to unlock the chain, I couldn't find the key. Somehow, I had lost it. I looked through my things but I couldn't find it. There was no way that I could move the bike without damaging the spokes.

It took about twenty minutes but I was able to find somebody with some bolt cutters to cut the lock off. I rushed back to church to see if the key was there. The pastor was just leaving but he did have my bike lock key. This really didn't help me any because I had a busted lock now. I told my situation to the pastor but after hemming and hawing he passed me off to another church that was supposed to have a program to help people.

When I finally found the other church, the only people there were cleaning up the children's Sunday room classrooms because the church was also a daycare during the week. I was able to get somebody to contact one of the people in charge of the care project. After about fifteen minutes, a gentleman came by the church to talk to me. He said that he needed to contact somebody else but if I would wait at the church he would be back. It was around ten minutes later when he came back. The guy slipped me an envelope telling me that inside there should be enough to get a new lock. He also gave me five packages of Military MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat). This was really great because my food supply was getting low.

Before he left, the guy gave me directions to the local K-Mart. After the guy left, I opened up the envelope and there was twenty-five dollars. When I got there, I fixed the lock in such a way to make people believe that the bike was really secure. I rushed in and out of the store to get a new lock.

It was nearly 2 pm when I headed out of town on the way to Phoenix. I got into Chandler a little before dusk and found my way over to a Christian church. I was made pretty welcome. Afterwards, one of the deacons said that my being on the road made his Christmas celebration great. He slipped me twenty dollars and also made it possible for me to get a room at a nearby motel that the church had an account with.




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