Churches for Truckers? Where? Who?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by windcatcher, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. windcatcher

    windcatcher
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's hoping there is some interest here for a segment of our work force who have real spiritual needs and asprirations for Godly counsel and encouragement..... and some who don't know God but whose conscience has been pricked by the Spirit and need an encounter with Jesus Christ as represented through the ministry of a church;

    A poster in a major trucker's forum presents an inquiry regarding locations of truck assessible churches who have parking suitable for big rigs for drivers who wish to worship. This presents a real problem as parking lots, whether paved or firm packed soil, must be large enough for entering, exiting, and supporting the weight of a big rig....plus be accessible to a trucking route.

    This is a forum to which I've belonged since 2003, when, at the age of 55, I found myself suddenly unemployed after almost 22yrs with the same company.... and in looking for work..... found myself schooling at a local tech school and employed by a large company for 13 months driving a 18 wheeler solo. Truck driving is one of the hardest vocations a person can do. It is physically demanding, socially isolating, spiritually isolating from the normal fellowship with other believers, and the schedule demanded if one is productive enough to earn income beyond the outstanding expenses on the road....does not allow for normal scheduling of sleep, or eating, or other normal activities which most people enjoy in their life.

    Temptation is ever present for those who are susceptible; family ties are strained by distance.......but often precious to the one who is out on the road who has no other close and intimate contact: Friendships during my 13 months became distant even though I made phone contact regularly: I was distant: A truck driver friend is easily forgotten due to their absence and ordinary things like engagements, birthdays, deaths, births, baptisms, showers..... are often forgotten in exchanges of information as the driver is distant and unlikely to be able to participate anyway...... and this doesn't mean that friends or family don't care....it is just that the relationship has changed due to distance..... Furthermore, what religious instruction or scriptual edification which is available on the road is often through the radio or subject to the communication over the CB radio which may contain a lot of unnecessary interferance and obscenity while one trucker is trying to communicate to another.

    Truck driving is a fearsome job......unless one is working a circuit....which most drivers do not..... most truckers have no idea what their next assignment will be or where it will take them until after they have completed their current trip: there are daily uncertainties regarding weather and road conditions...... and with all the difficulties of blind spots around a truck and difficulty to safely maneuver quickly..... a truck driver knows that in most cases, regardless of who is at fault....he is one major accident away from loss of employment, and possibly loss of lively hood or life ---he knows if 'company safety' or a court rules that an accident was 'preventable' though not charged against him as to cause, he will likely be held accountable and dischargable....and possibly financially accountable though not directly a 'cause' of accident. If he's involved in an accident, chances are the first contact with his company will be a question regarding the condition of the load and any others who were involved......no question regarding how he is.

    I know first hand of a driver who left north Al to deliver a load in Tallahassee..... and while on the road had contact with his wife via phone...who wasn't feeling well. She had a heart attack to which she succumbed at the hospital and their daughter notified his company immediately when the ambulance was called.....he was only a couple hundred miles away, in route, ....but company did not notify him until after he completed his run....... He had worked for the company over 20 years..... and his wife was his sweetheart since childhood......He was in his 60's. I met him when making my delivery at the same store....which time was bumped upon my arrivial without explanation from our joint company so he could get in and out and head back for her funeral...... I knew, as my starting route was the same as his.... that he was essentially out of hours according to the Federal regulations, but the company gave him the option of returning in his rig to point of origin.
     
  2. windcatcher

    windcatcher
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    If a driver gets sick while on the road, his dispatcher has no sympathy: Doctors under any medical insurance he carries are hard to find, and his limited transportation..... dependant on his rig....limits the areas to which he may go to truck lines of travel. I witnessed a driver enter and exit the fuel lanes at a truck stop and in proceeding to the parking lanes, passed out behind the wheel and take a bumper off a Peterbilt rig. There was no help for him but the stranger/drivers who were present to figure out to call his family and company using his cell phone: Park his truck: And checked the refrigeration unit to see if loaded with produce which might require special arrangements for load care until he returned from the hospital. He did return, having been treated for a high fever and electrolyte imbalance caused by a short lived flu...... It could have been worse. I don't know if there were others in that large truck stop who cared to pray for him.....but I know that I did..... and having met many Christian truckers while out on the road, would not be surprised if many others who witnessed also prayed for his recovery..... But the question is greater concerning the care of his soul.

    A truck driver's job will require many unpaid hours of work which count against the total of 70 max which he is allowed to work in a week.....before a substantial break is required by law..... but his pay is primarily for mileage so anywork, whether driving in heavy traffic or slow downs...or waiting for pick-up or delivery points or vehicle maintanance is generally unpaid time unless his company arranges for excesses of 'on duty delays'. Most American workers would not work in such confining conditions...... without substanial pay..... BUT there is very little that adds to what we have and enjoy without requiring a truck to bring it to our neighbohood, our hospital, our grocery, our schools and churches, our work place.

    There are a few truck stop ministries. When I was on the road, I tried to attend whenever my hours permitted........ however, many of these ministries have a limited set of hours which one is 'lucky' (or I preferred to count 'blessed') if the driver's schedule permits attendance. My experience during those 13 months was maybe 5 times I was able to attend truck stop church services and the most that were there besides the ministering pastor were 3 drivers. I don't know if this was typical or not: But first of all there are few truck stops which have a trucker's ministry available: Hours are not always consistant with appointed times posted. Some churches provide free tapes and CD's with sermons..... which I found helpful. These I would pass on after listening, dropping them off in the next drivers' lounge elsewhere. Seldom is there a contact number where one can get other than an answering machine. Once I saw a posting where an invitation was offered for drivers to call to arrange ministry provided transportation to a local church to attend its scheduled service times. Unfortunately I was unable to avail myself as my stop was for fuel and schedule required that I continue with trip.

    Folks may think that drivers make a lot of money: I was out for 4-6 weeks at a time. As a 'newbie' my wages were $0.26 cents per mile; average trip was 250-350 miles. Occassionally I'd get a 'plum' trip of 500 miles or more.... and sometimes I'd get some local trailer swapping which consumed the hours the feds allow work but few miles involved for which I was paid. My final wages reached 30 cents per mile before I left driving. A typical driver, at the company for which I worked, might earn 32-34 cents per mile after 2 years with the company....... not a get rich quick plan.

    Holidays on the road are isolated and uncelebrated, for the most part: There are few folks one can fellowship with. Outside of calls to home and family members, the days are most like every other: If out of hours, one is having to rest where truck parking is available and the holiday passes away from family. If a trip is scheduled during the holiday, the travel is frequently done with increased traffic from 'vacationers' on holiday..... and more dangerous due to the preoccupation of attention by other drivers and their fatigue and sudden unexpected moves.... also which truck drivers are subject to. Some truck stops will do something special for the commercial driver during a holiday....but these are rare. As for truck stop food, it is frequently greasy and fattening, void of nutritious preparation or variety and more and more limited to the fast food fare of francises which have moved into more and more truck stops to take care of the general traveling public.

    Regarding accidents on the road involving a truck......most which involve other vehicles are 'caused' (or another way of putting it) initiated by other than a big rig: estimated to be between 66 to 75% caused by other than big rigs: However, when a big rig is involved it is often fatal for occupants of other vehicles. The statistics done by AAA and the federal government have not been exact due to the frequent reporting of 'trucks' being involved' when it was more like a 'pick up' truck: And frequently news of accidents omit differientiating between a truck and a tractor-trailer, commercial vehicle, 18-wheeler, combination vehicle which are more defining than just calling something a 'truck'.

    Why am I posting this? I'm not sure unless its because there is room for a real misionary ministry...... one which will not pay much as far as offerings...... one which may pay heavenly dividends of soul winner crowns but not necessary personnally rewarding if one needs the reinforcement of seeing the results: It is truely a ministry of one planting...... another probably reaping. But anyone, any church who is drawn into a ministry to truck drivers will be ministering to an often forgotten, often neglected, frequently dispised, generally isolated from what most of us would call 'normal'...... and answering a call to a unique challenge and opportunity.
     
  3. windcatcher

    windcatcher
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    http://roundtable.truck.net/viewtopic.php?t=72258&sid=16024b46484291e84eb6ac0c426092e8

    Hopefully this will get you to the thread where a trucker is inquiring about services: I well understand his plight..... and post the question here, under 'other denominations' as it seems more suitable to his query.

    If any wish to submit information, just private message me with permission to submit info to that forum....... or post here and I will submit contact to this thread over there. Thanks.
     
  4. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,100
    Likes Received:
    218
    There is a small truck stop off I-690 (just off I-81) in Syracuse. That is one ministry area I would like to consider getting into as our church grows.

    Salty
     

Share This Page

Loading...