An F-150 and a Thunderstorm


This past August, ASAP volunteer ambassador, Lesa Budd, my 11-year-old daughter Victoria, and I set off on a seven-state ASAP awareness tour. It all started out smoothly, God blessing amazingly. However, things took an abrupt turn when our van broke down in 100-degree heat near Yates Center, Kansas. That’s when God sent Leon Weber home early from work.

Not long after we pulled off the interstate, Leon pulled over ready to help. Realizing that we couldn’t drive farther, and concerned about the dangerous afternoon heat, Leon called his wife, Mary. “Babe, can you bring our pickup out here so these ladies can sit in the air conditioning?”

A few minutes later, Mary pulled up in their 2019 Ford F-150. We got inside, then spent hours finding a tow truck and mechanic. Now what we really needed was a rental car. “You won’t find anything until Topeka,” Leon informed us. “But tell you what…” A silent communication passed between Mary and Leon. “You can take our vehicle.” I was overwhelmed. “We’ll get a rental and bring yours right back,” I promised. But that was not what they had in mind. “No need. You just use this vehicle for the rest of your trip,” they insisted.

Touched by the kindness of this Catholic couple to total strangers like us, we wondered how we could show our gratitude. Before we left, Lesa asked, “Leon, how can we pray for you?” He thought for a second. “The farmers in Eastern Kansas really need rain.” Bowing our heads, Lesa led in a beautiful prayer, trusting God to bless Leon and Mary as they had blessed us.

Our faith strengthened in the midst of difficulty, we continued our journey, praising and thanking God.  Yet as we drove along, Lesa’s voice rose periodically from the passenger seat, confident as she prayed, “Lord, there’s only heat in the forecast, but we know You can send rain.”

The next morning, I awoke early. Yawning, I spotted Lesa under the covers with her phone. “Hey, look at this!” she exclaimed.

Across all of eastern Kansas, the weather had entirely changed. It was a miracle! Within hours, rain began to pour from the heavens.

It took six days to fix our broken-down van. While waiting, we’d driven the Weber’s truck about 500 miles, owing $250 for mileage alone, I figured. But Leon and Mary refused to accept any talk of money. So, instead, we took them to supper to say thank you.

Near the end of the meal, Leon leaned across the table, and grinned. “What did you think about the rain!? Can you believe it?”

“Leon and Mary,” Lesa replied, “God did that for you.”

As we talked, we learned that a beloved priest from Burma (Myanmar) had once served in Leon and Mary’s parish for many years. So, they already had a connection with Southeast Asia. Before we parted, they pressed something toward me. “We want to help with your mission,” they explained. It was a check for $250.