I Can’t Do That!

By Rachel Greco

Katie screams from the back seat and closes her eyes as the four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicle winds over steep, muddy roads at unnatural angles. Brant Lane, an Automotive Consultant Trainer for JAARS Land Transportation, warns from his spot beside her, “You’re driving next, so you might want to pay attention.”

Katie driving on the 4WD course

Besides driving skills, Brant and the rest of the Land Transportation team train mission workers how to use a winch to pull a vehicle upright after a rollover accident. “Where most of the people we train are going,” Brant explains, “they can’t call roadside assistance to rescue them if they become stranded. Their knowledge and recovery tools may be their only resource.”

The team around the vehicle

The 4WD vehicle currently used for winch training and public relations events was donated to JAARS several years ago. Besides adding a winch for training, the mechanics had only performed basic maintenance. So when JAARS decided to paint all its cars the same color scheme, the team decided to give the 4WD vehicle a more thorough check-up.

About the time Katie and her classmates learned about cross-cultural interactions at JAARS ICC course, Brant and a few volunteers tore the vehicle down until all that remained was the frame and brake lines. “We had more issues than we realized,” Brant explained. They couldn’t just tear down the vehicle and put it back together—the original plan. They would have to overhaul the engine.

The men tore the vehicle completely down!

But unlike the maintenance team, God was not surprised. He already knew who would perform the job.

Chuck Comp, a volunteer, had come to wash vehicles, not rebuild an engine. But when the Land Transportation team realized the vehicle’s engine needed an overhaul, they learned Chuck had years of overseeing service shops and had owned a machine shop that worked on engines. With his expertise and experience, he rebuilt the engine for them. “He didn’t know he was coming to rebuild the engine. We didn’t know we needed him to, and we didn’t know he had those skills, but the Lord put it all together.”

After a fresh coat of paint, the jeep will continue to boost mission workers’ confidence so they’re ready to do the work God has called them to. “A lot of the people who go through our course, especially the ladies, are overwhelmed when they see the obstacles we have. They say, ‘I can’t do that,’” Brant said, “but the classroom and driving part of the course give them the confidence they need to be able to observe obstacles, make a plan, and proceed in a safe manner.”  

Brant working on the 4WD vehicle

Katie took the course because her husband thought it would be a good idea. He knew the course contained similar driving conditions to those in the Solomon Islands, where they will serve at the national translation center.

Although Katie was terrified and shocked by the course’s driving conditions, she concluded: “I am very thankful I did it. If I had gone to the Solomon Islands without the experience, I might have insisted my husband not drive on a road like that. Having driven it, I see that it is possible and I am thankful for that!”

To help us offer the skills that build the confidence necessary for overseas mission workers like Katie, would you consider a gift to our Transportation Solutions?