It’s a “GOD” Thing!

It’s a “GOD” Thing!

by Executive Director, Rob Appel


Have you ever experienced a time where you know it was God intervening on your behalf? Or, if you had gone ahead with your own plans, it might not have turned out so well, or not at all? Since this is the “Youth Issue,” this story does have to do with younger people—our own Stained Glass music ministry.

In late February I had found a vehicle out in California that I thought would be the perfect mode of transportation for the Stained Glass group this summer. It was a burgundy Ford Excursion. I asked Joe Pradetto Sr. of Riverside, if he would be able to go look at the SUV. He agreed and went on the 23rd of February. Joe found some things wrong, but thought overall it was worth the money that we had offered on it.

I then proceeded to ask the dealer if he would take my personal car in a trade. I was planning on driving out west, stopping at four of our churches before arriving in California. They said they were interested and that they would need to see the car in person. Because of this, I did not put a down payment on the SUV to hold it. I arrived in Palm Desert on Sunday, March 16.

On Monday I called the dealership before jumping in the car to drive almost two hours to the Los Angeles area. My contact there informed that another buyer placed a down payment on the SUV on the 16th. He thought that the sale wouldn’t go through because the potential buyer did not have a great credit rating and would have to come up with cash.

Something told me, “Put your car on Craigslist.” My wife confirmed that too, and so I did. On Wednesday I was informed that the other buyer did come up with the cash, AND my car sold that day as well!

In the meantime, having the feeling that we were not going to get this SUV, Marian Anderson (Chairman of the Stained Glass Ministry) and I started looking at vehicles on the internet. I found a chestnut-colored Excursion in Texas. A few minutes later Marian texts me, “Did you see the one in Texas?” I contacted the dealer about their vehicle and arranged for Richard Shepard (Houston SDB Church) to go and check it out for me. When he got to the dealer they had him test drive a different SUV because the one he came in to look at was sold.

Richard called me a few miles into this test drive saying they had run out of gas, the SUV was white, it had some obvious problems, and oh, it ran on diesel. I asked Richard to let me talk to the dealer. When I spoke with him I let him know that the SUV was put on a hold for me and that when he arrived back at his place of business he needs to check on this because I am not interested in the white Excursion.

When he called me back he was laughing. He said when he had first asked about the chestnut colored Excursion that morning, he was told that it was sold. But he didn’t ask to whom it was sold. It had my name on it!

Richard then drove that SUV. He found two small problem areas, and the dealership fixed them. Richard said that this one was a winner!

God closed the door on the SUV in California because it was not the right one for us. He opened the door in Texas because it was! The Excursion we bought in Texas had 30,000 fewer miles. It was clean inside and out. It had a spare tire! It had a luggage rack on top. And, it cost $5 less. Now, five dollars is not much, but it shows that God has a sense of humor, too.

I want to thank those men who were so willing to help out when called: Joe Pradetto in California, and Richard Shepard and Frank Chaffin in Houston. Frank picked me up from the airport and gave me a ride to the dealership so I could drive home our prize.

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