by Erica Bourque
On a recent Friday afternoon, we decided to “go for a drive.” My husband Joe felt very strongly about a certain route and a particular picnic spot for the afternoon. He wanted to drive our van, which we usually do not take on shorter day trips. The temperature was barely above freezing, and it was partly cloudy, so a raging fire and hot dogs for a late lunch sounded like a great plan. Dry wood was packed, along with our small propane heater, extra goodies to eat and hot water for hot chocolate.
A short distance into our trip, the paved forest road became intermittently covered in ice, and due to my uneasiness, we debated whether to turn around. We reached a mutual determination to continue, so we stopped at a picnic area which was much closer; one we were well familiar with. We arrived around 3pm, about 20 miles up the mountain. When our fire was “just right” to start cooking, Joe turned to me and said he thought he heard someone. How could that be? We listened again and again. A distinctive “help” was heard in a man’s voice, along with the faint voice of a woman. A little skeptical, we decided to walk up the road toward the voices. Sure enough, a young man and a woman in their 20s, along with their dog, were walking towards us, waving their hands, crying and asking for help. They were in despair; stating they had been stranded for a week in the snow further up the mountain. Their only clothing was jeans and a sweatshirt, and their hands and face were red from the cold. We were able to provide warmth inside our van, hot food and drinks, and we safely transported them off the mountain into the nearest town.
We truly feel God had directed our actions that day and that He had prepared beforehand an opportunity for good works to walk in them. We just had to be there, because we feel that otherwise, the couple might not have survived the night, as the closest cell reception was at least 10 miles away. Upon reflection, we stand in awe of God’s mercy and how He directs our lives. We were able to fulfill the couple’s physical needs, as God’s Spirit of love was guiding us, and we gained much spiritual insight. Experiencing firsthand the despair this couple felt, we were also reminded of the many people who will be led out of captivity in the future, and we are thankful to have been given this opportunity to learn more perfectly how to respond to people in such dire circumstances.