I have been driving full-time for Uber and Lyft in the Phoenix area since September 7, 2019. To date, I have 981 rides.
The glamor of driving for Uber had certainly lost its luster for me until recently. Driving two hundred to three hundred miles per day in heavy traffic. Looking at the GPS app with one eye while trying to avoid a driver who is texting as he/she drifts across my lane with the other eye. Needing to use a restroom so urgently that I thought my kidneys would explode and then learning the gas station I stopped at had no public restrooms. Yipes! All of this and more is a part of my “living the dream” as an Uber driver.
Plus, I am trying to juggle four writing projects, a new podcast idea, prayer time, Bible study and oh yes – a wife. And just so you know, I will be 74 years-old in three weeks.
The above will give you some background for this article.
Three days ago, I was in my bathroom preparing myself to drive the afternoon rush hour shift. I happened to click on a video, showing young house church Christians receiving their first Bibles, which had been smuggled across the borders by special agents from Asia Harvest. These young believers were weeping and crying, overjoyed just to finally touch a real Bible and have one of their own.
The video broke my heart. I said aloud, “Lord, You know that I want to help raise money to help provide Bibles and whatever for Chinese and North Korean believers, but NO! You have me driving for Uber and accomplishing nothing for Your kingdom.”
I was a little too passionate and too loud with my complaint to God because Carol overheard me and asked who I was talking to in the bathroom. I told her about my prayer and broke down weeping in my frustration.
The Father did not correct my attitude but instead, He sent ride #955 two days later.
As I drove up to the pickup point at the hotel, all that I knew about the ride was that her name was Bianca and the ride would be an airport trip of approximately twenty miles. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at the time.
She spoke on the telephone for the first few minutes of our ride together. When she finished, she asked, “Will we be able to get close to the door at the airport?”
“Yes,” I replied. “Do you have a problem?”
Biance then described her autoimmune problems and her special type of arthritis.
“Wow!” I proclaimed. “How can all of this happen to a pretty twenty-five year-old gal like you?”
She laughed. “I’m no longer a spring chicken. I’m thirty-nine years-old. Plus, I can’t get rid of my smoking habit, no matter what I’ve tried.”
“I used to smoke, but I quit.”
“Really? What did you do?”
“Actually, the Lord delivered me of my smoking habit. He was so successful that I did not gain a pound and had no desire to ever smoke again.”
“I’m a Christian, too. I wonder if He would do that for me,” she replied.
“Sure, He’d do it for you. Just ask Him.”
The conversation turned to her unusual name of Bianca, especially for an Asian girl.
She laughed. “I’m North Korean and my mom just wanted an unusual name for me.”
“Wait a second!” I proclaimed. “How did your family escape North Korea?”
Bianca proceeded to tell me how her grandfather was a wealthy businessman in North Korea. He saw that the nation was turning communist and decided to leave everything behind and escape to South Korea and then to America. He along with a few others left at night. One man carried Bianca’s mother on his back the whole journey. Sadly, her grandmother refused to leave North Korea and was never heard of again.
The little North Korean group eventually arrived in America and prospered.
“Let me tell you a vision I had about North Korea,” I said.
“Yes, go ahead,” she said.
“In the vision, I was transported to a prison cell in North Korea. I could actually feel the bitterly cold temperatures. There in the cell was a naked teenage North Korean Christian girl. Her nakedness did not arouse me at all and I knew she had been repeatedly raped and beaten by the prison guards. She was so hungry and thin. I heard her say, “Lord, why do You treat me like this? Can’t You help me?
“I watched the scene in total helplessness. Then, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, “Will you trade places with her?
“The Holy Spirit’s words stunned me. Thoughts flew through my mind. Carol wouldn’t know what happened to me. I wouldn’t see my children or grandchildren again. The guards would rape and beat me. And so forth.
“But then I remembered what Jesus did for me on the cross and how He saved me on May 20, 1985.
“Yes, Lord, I will trade places with her.
“The vision ended and I returned to my bed,” I said.
“I can’t quit weeping. Your story has broken my heart,” she replied in a weak voice.
We arrived at American Airlines. I pulled over to the curb.
“Before you leave, let me pray for you,” I said.
We held hands and I prayed for her healing and her calling to come forth in her life. As the words came forth, I knew she would make a difference for the Christian North Korean prisoners in the years ahead.
I drove away, knowing that if I continued driving for Uber and never did much else for the Lord and the Kingdom of God ever again, I could live with that. It was up to Him and not me.
You see, Ride #955 made all of my driving worth it.
Remember those who are in prison, as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body [and subject to physical suffering]. (Hebrews 13:3 AMP)