Feature

The Long Journey Home

Smoke billowed from their family minivan as Trevor and Hayley Amack and their four small children sat along the roadside, sweating in the 100-degree summer heat.
This wasn’t exactly the way they envisioned their new life beginning.

The Amacks had recently been appointed as ABWE missionaries to Cambodia, and they decided to head to Trevor’s distant relatives in Nebraska to kick off their Prefield Ministry — a crucial time when missionaries learn to rely on God as they develop their support base and prepare for the mission field.

Their visit was well received, and they felt optimistic as they set off on their 20-hour drive home to Washington. But a few hours in, their car began to smoke and refused to go on.

“We were on a very strict budget for the whole trip. We had the exact money we needed to get home, and that was it,” said Hayley.

The couple believed that this bump in their road was all part of God’s plan, but as the delay stretched from hours into days, they started wondering about His methods.

Then, after spending several days with their pastor’s mother who providentially lived nearby, they finally received a diagnosis from the local auto shop: their transmission was shot.

They would either need a new transmission or a new car. A transmission would cost about $3,000 and take a week to replace. And buying a new car would mean taking on new debt, which would further delay getting to the mission field. 

“That was the point I broke,” said Hayley. “Trevor works at a Christian school and I’m a stay-at-home mom, so our income level is very modest. We had $18 in our bank account and we had to figure out a way to get home.”

In desperation, Hayley called ABWE’s Director of Prefield Ministries, Brad Winkler, for clearance to take on debt so they could finance a new vehicle. Brad gave them approval, but felt the Lord urging him to help the family through ABWE’s Prefield Emergency Fund. Generous donors contribute to this fund to help new missionaries overcome issues that come up as they’re raising support to get to the mission field.

“Many of our missionaries give up their jobs, the security of comfortable homes, benefits, and other comforts to pursue the call from our Lord. It is so important to let them know they are not alone,” said Brad. “When Hayley told me their situation, I felt God impress upon my heart that, if ever a need embodied what this money was to be used for, this was it.”

Using the Prefield Emergency Fund, Brad transferred $1,500 to the Amacks’ account. And when the Amacks’ church, family, and friends learned of their situation, they also contributed funds. Soon, the Amacks had more than $3,000 to put down on a used vehicle — and still had enough for their drive home.

“I cried with joy,” said Hayley. “To have it come out of the blue was very humbling.”
Now, as the Amacks continue to prepare for a church planting and college ministry in Cambodia, their experience in Nebraska continues to remind them to put their trust in God for all of their needs.

“It was overwhelming to see how He provided above and beyond,” said Trevor. “And it’s a blessing to know the ABWE family truly cares for us, loves us, and is praying for us.

Learn how you can help other new missionaries overcome challenges.

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