Fumes, a prayer and a song!

1 Comment » Written on March 29th, 2011     
Filed under: earthquake
Our team safely returned from a week in Sendai last Saturday night. It was quite an adventure and it kept us on our toes right until the end. Fuel shortages are gradually diminishing, but still have a long ways to go. When we left Sendai late afternoon on Saturday I had half a tank of gas. Other team members had looked for gas all over town that morning without any luck. But I wasn’t worried because we had good data from the day before that gasoline was readily available on the expressway.

About an hour or two down the road I pulled in at a service area on the expressway and there were long lines at the gas station. We asked if they were making emergency vehicles wait in line too, and they said they were. We asked how long the wait was and the attendant replied 40-50 minutes. I asked if gas was rationed and they said it wasn’t and that we could get a full tank. We still had a long drive ahead of us and it was getting late so I decided to go to the next service area instead of waiting in line. After all, we knew that the further we got from Sendai the easier it would be to get gas. Or at least that is what we thought…

Next service area; no gas. Next one; all sold out. Next one; closed! We called ahead to several service area gas stations and they all said they were out. As we drove by one that was closed we looked across the road to the service area on the other side that is headed away from Tokyo and there were cars filling up. So we hurried to the next exit, did a u-turn and headed back to that service area. 15 minutes later we got there just as they were closing the gas station after having sold out! So we had to keep heading back toward Sendai to the next exit where we could get off, do another u-turn and head back to Tokyo.

Problem was… I was down to less than 1/8 of a tank of gas. We called about 10 gas stations outside of the expressway, we called the highway management office, we called the local police and anyone else we could think of but no one could help. We were just about resigned to spending the night in the car and waiting for a gas stand to open in the morning, but the problem was that one of the guys in the car had a plane to catch the next morning leaving Narita at 10AM for London.

There was only one tiny glimmer of hope. One service area wasn’t answering their phone. We called the gas stand in the service area on the adjacent side heading toward Sendai and they finally answered, telling us that both sides were open 24 hours. They had gas but didn’t know if the other side did or not. By this time we were ready to take a chance. The only remaining problem was that I was below 1/8 of a tank and the service area was 50km down the road.

We all started praying, I drove at the most efficient speed with no extra pushes on the accelerator, and we just went for it. About 15 km out the red light came on. We kept praying, and finally Shane pulled out his ukulele, began singing  “No woman, no cry” and we finally got to the service area on fumes, a prayer and a song but still not sure if they would have gas there. All I can say is, I’ve never been as happy to see a long line at a gas station as I was that night. And the icing on the cake was that they saw our emergency vehicle sign and sent us right to the front of the line!

About three hours later we were safely back in Tokyo and wow! Did it feel good to be home!

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One Response to “Fumes, a prayer and a song!”

Praise Jesus! He was just checking our faith on Him

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