You might have noticed a new logo on our website, newsletter, and other places— “Make It Clear.” Make It Clear Ministries was founded in the 1970’s by a good friend and mentor, Dr. Stan Ponz. Since then, MIC has grown from print and radio to other endeavors including filmmaking and a Christian college. Through this partnership, The Strong Blue Line (TSBL) hopes to expand training to law enforcement officers and chaplains. You can find “The Strong Blue Line” page on MIC’s website by clicking on “Special Ministries” then clicking “MIC Law Enforcement Ministry” (https://makeitclear.org/lem/). Tax deductible donations to TSBL can be made via MIC. More about this partnership in future newsletters. More about the partnership in future newsletters.
The Strong Blue Line on the Road
The end of March and first of April was filled with over 4500 miles of travel from Idaho Falls to speaking engagements in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. During the trip I conducted five seminars (Lauderdale County SO, Mississippi; St. Bernard, Rapides, and St. Tammany SOs in Louisiana) and presented at Calvary Baptist Church in Mena, Arkansas.
For the most part, travel was good—but then Wyoming knows nothing about spring. At about 7 pm on April 3, driving was slow, dark, and treacherous on I-80. I was westbound about 38 miles east of Rock Springs looking for relief. The 40 mph+ winds blew snow sideways across the road, rocking the 29’ motor home (with Harley in tow) and making visibility nearly impossible. I had already passed several overturned vehicles and was looking for a place to pull over. “Safe” driving had slowed to 20 mph when I crested a mountain and saw several large dark objects to my right. A truck parking area!
As I got close enough to see through the blowing snow, I found it was full of 18-wheelers. “Those lucky truckers beat me to it,” I thought as I sent up another prayer for safety. Traffic came to a halt, and I found myself stopped next to the exit ramp of the parking area. As I waited for traffic to move, I saw the highway was covered with ice. When I pushed the accelerator pedal the wheels on the motor home spun—I needed to get off the highway immediately. The driver that stopped in front of me was able to work his semi-truck over to the right and park along the exit ramp. I decided to try and do the same. Slowly, I worked the rig and trailer to the right until I had traction. By the grace of God, I was able to maneuver the motor home and trailer forward and backwards until I was safely onto the exit ramp of the parking area, several feet from the highway.
God was good, I had a place to sleep, food to eat, and even cell service. I checked all the levels—propane was three quarters full and gasoline a little over half a tank. I thanked God for answering my prayers for safety and called Sherry. I also texted the Watersprings Church pastors and requested prayer. I was supposed to be home the 4th to take Sherry for her knee replacement surgery on the 5th. In a matter of minutes Watersprings folks and our friends from the Christian Motorcyclist Association stepped up. Prayers went out and we had volunteers to take Sherry if I didn’t make it back in time. I spent the night and hoped to be out in the morning.
With the constant wind noise and rocking of the motor home, sleep was better than I expected. I spent Tuesday checking weather reports, writing, and waiting for the storm to pass. Periodically, I looked out the window and saw a snow-break fence slowly disappear as the snow refused to let up. I wasn’t going to make it home in time. At about 7 pm, a full 24 hours after I stopped, a Wyoming Highway patrol captain knocked on my door and said the road was open to Rock Springs. I was happy to make the 2-hour 38-mile drive. When I arrived, I found Hwy 191 closed and stayed overnight, finally making it home the afternoon of the 5th. Sherry’s surgery went well (a big thanks to Andy and Daina Measures for taking care of her until I arrived).
Pastor Dave Coleman rallied support on Facebook and friends from the Luther Group volunteered to provide meals for Sherry and me while I worked from home and took care of my bride. Continue to pray for Sherry’s recovery.
Pray for your police.