After leaving Timber, we decided to take the back roads south of Bunker. We were looking forward to seeing some of the caves on the map, but either we were blind, or they were well hidden because we didn’t see a one! But we did get to enjoy more of Missouri’s amazing springs, forest, and dirt roads. We still can’t get over how many springs are in the Ozarks that just bubble out of all kinds of places.
The dirt roads aren’t marked in this area, so we had to pay close attention to each turn and which direction it went. At one of these corners, we had the map out and were carefully determining which way to go, when a local, Kirk, happened to drive by and offered to help us with directions. He invited us to his house too, but it was 7 miles further and we were only planning on going another couple.
But after riding a bit further, we felt compelled to go to his house. We decided there must be a reason for this so we rode long and late to get there. There was.
We spent a nice evening and supper with Kirk and his beautiful family and parents. They loved Jesus and we enjoyed their company. In the morning, we had breakfast with Kirk’s parents and had a most intriguing conversation. They shared miraculous stories of healing with us from the people who their ministry helps that hit home about how important your words are in everyday life. The Bible does mention several times the power of words, and when we take a close inventory of our vocabulary, most of us will find an awful lot of negativity. Simply speaking Bible verses- God’s promises- over your life, instead of negativity, has changed so many lives, and their examples were inspiring. It’s not a foreign concept to me, but the examples were profound enough to really make me contemplate on the healing power of God as I rode. I resolved to pay more attention my vocabulary.
While we rode that day after our long conversations, I wished I could shout to that area of the Ozarks about what I was contemplating. There was a lot of poverty, but you could tell the difference between those who did the best with what they had and so many others who had clearly given up on life- evident by the disaster area that was a ‘home.’
After what seemed like 10 miles through a lonely stretch of woods in the setting sunlight…. but was probably only 3 miles…. we were overjoyed to see the first ranch. It turned out to be a family that a local we had met earlier that day had suggested we stop at their house for the night. We had no idea if word had gotten to them or if they were expecting us, but we thought we’d ask. They welcomed us and our animal entourage with open arms. While we were unpacking, Helen’s son came home with the slightly delayed news that we were coming! We all had a good laugh over that one. They were very accommodating hosts; introducing us to all their friends and family and stuffing us with home cooking. Mitchell, Helen’s son, took Richard fishing too- and he got QUITE the catch!