My name is Mark. Definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I can no longer do this on my own. I am so heart-broken and don't know what to do. Don’t know where to even start.
In 2006, I was a bachelor in New Orleans, focused on my calling in full-time ministry when I met a divorced mom of 3 living in Canada. Our connection was immediate and I knew without a doubt Barbara was my answer to years of prayers.
By our 3rd anniversary, Barbara had spent 2-1/2 years in and out of hospitals. Initially it was severe Crohn’s Disease but things escalated when she had a reaction to IV CIPRO leaving her hands grossly deformed, difficulty remembering words and other constant pain. This has left her with the inability to replace her ostomy and work outside the home. She is in constant pain. Doctors have also diagnosed numerous other autoimmune diseases including fibromyalgia and arthritis. Thus I have also become her caregiver when she is unable to.
She is a fighter who hides her pain behind her beautiful smile. If you’ve been blessed to know my wife, chances are she’s fed you. See, she cooks like a rockstar. You’d find her in the trenches feeding hurricane and flood victims a home cooked meal. She held breakfast fundraisers to send young people to Bible College and mission trips. Whether it was feeding volunteers at our church, birth of a new baby, illness, death or feeding homeless during the pandemic, you could count on her to get the job done and if not in the trenches because of the pain she was organizing and directing.
After 25 years in full time ministry it was time for a change. We moved to Tennessee. I began doing video work in large convention centers and we looked forward to our slower paced future. Then the pandemic hit and my industry shutdown. It wasn’t long before we had to start delivering groceries and meals to those isolating. At times it was scary but carried us through financially.
Eventually, I began driving for LYFT and Uber, but after the people stopped getting stimulus etc, the tips dried up. I could no longer make enough money in our region. So for the last 18 months I’ve been going to Nashville (2 hrs away) to drive for LYFT and Uber. I sleep in my car at truck stops and eat food from my cooler. Typically I’m away 7-10 days at a time then home for 2 before returning to Nashville. Yes, I sleep in the car when 19* and 102*. Very slowly my industry has started to reopen, but in the last 3 months we’ve put $3,000 into our 2016 Venza (258,000 miles).
On the way home from a gig in New Orleans on Sunday, feeling hopeful about our future when suddenly our car died on the highway in rural Alabama. Honestly I was angry. Angry at God. Angry at myself. I’ve prayed over our car daily knowing we can’t afford another repair or to replace it. Without a reliable car we’ve lost my ability to provide and shelter when working.
Without a reliable vehicle that meets their standards, I can't drive for Lyft and Uber and can't get to and from gig locations. That means no income, no health insurance for Barbara, who has a well established medical team and so much more.
You see, I promised my wife and her family that I would be her protector, provider and prayer warrior. Unfortunately, without a working car I can not provide. I can't do gigs in Nashville or Atlanta because the car was also my housing.
Hence, why I'm here today. We took the car to our mechanic and they determined that the cost of repair would be $6500. But after negotiating with them we got the cost down to $4850. We can't afford to fix the car much less buy a new one. It's a fine line reconciling the cost of repairs and the car's value. You can be guaranteed that any donations here will be used toward the repair of our car as the purchase of a new car is not possible at this time unless God miraculously provides a way. We will be good stewards and post updates along with the end results. Thank you for taking your time to read about my situation. If you have taken the time to read this far, I am deeply humbled.