Miraculous Encounter Occurs on Road to College

Heather and Heidi Spiva started their road trip four hours behind schedule. Traveling from their home in Chattanooga, Tenn., to Walla Walla College, where Heather was going to be taking summer classes, the road seemed to stretch endlessly.

On this particular morning, the two sisters had decided to sleep in late at their hotel, putting them another three hours behind schedule.

Toward the end of the long day, Heidi was talking with their mother on a cell phone, while Heather drove. On the shoulder of the highway, Heather noticed a parked car with its hood in the air. A couple sat inside.

“The man in the driver’s seat looked right at me,” Heather remembers. “He looked worried.”

Since stopping would take time, she thought about just driving on, but felt she should try to help. After turning around at the next exit, several miles down the road, the girls pulled in behind the broken-down car. The couple explained that the car had simply stopped—no warning, no noises, just stopped.

After using their cell phone to call for help, Heather and Heidi asked the man and his wife where they were heading. When the woman replied, “Walla Walla, Washington,” Heather recalls that she just about fell over.

“We are, too!” she cried, explaining that they attended college there.

The woman then asked the defining question: “Are you Adventists?”

When Heather and Heidi answered “Yes,” the woman looked at them and said, “Well, you’re looking at Elder Morris Venden!”

“My mouth dropped open,” says Heather. “I’d heard of Morris Venden. I’d heard his sermons, but I’d never actually seen him before, so my sister and I would never have recognized him!”

Unable to contain herself, she gave the Vendens a hug. Tears came to Mrs. Venden’s eyes. “Oh, you two are our little angels,” she said. “I had just prayed that God would send somebody to help us, because we’ve been sitting here for over an hour!”

Venden and his wife were on their way to the Upper Columbia Conference Camp Meeting, held in College Place, Wash., on the campus of Walla Walla College. Normally they would have flown, but they were delivering a car to their daughter, LuAnn, assistant professor of English.

“I still can’t believe it,” says Heather. “I was involved in a miracle. A real, live miracle! It is so awesome to think that God put us in the middle of Nebraska at just the right time.” •

September 01, 2002 / Walla Walla University
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