Roadside Rest


The trucker asked me where we were heading? I answered him, “Wherever God leads us.” He seemed surprised and replied, “I have to listen to the dispatcher.”

Who is your dispatcher?

That’s what truck drivers do, they listen to the dispatcher to know their next destination--but there is a group of people who are concerned about the drivers’ “final destination.” They have started “Truckstop Ministries, Inc.” We discovered one of their chapels on our last road trip, and we where intrigued by it.

Roadside Rest

It sat off to the side of the parking lot, a small white chapel inside an actual truck trailer. Wooden steps led up into the trailer and we discovered the inside was set up for a small church service. Chairs had been placed inside, with a center aisle and a wooden pulpit in the front. No one was inside at the moment, so we picked up some literature and headed back outside for a bite of lunch.

We discovered that this ministry was founded back in 1981 and has been growing ever since. There are chapels in about 60 truck stops nationwide and their goal is to have “an active ministry in every truck stop in which God opens the doors.”

In a time when road rage seems to be escalating and God’s presence seems to be declining from public view, it is refreshing to see a ministry such as this in a truck stop. After long hours on the road, many truckers catch a few hours of much needed sleep in any roadside rest they can find, or truck stop along the way. We see them as we stop for fuel—they are shopping and taking care of their needs. We hear the shower numbers called out, “Shower number 15 is now ready,” comes over the loud speaker as we are fueling up our truck. We have seen the young and the old, women and men, dogs and cats climb in and out of every kind of truck imaginable, and then we saw this chapel.

Rest for the weary

It is a definite place of rest for the weary, staffed by a full-time Chaplain who I met as I stood taking pictures of his “church.” He introduced himself, and later as I looked through the literature, I was able to read about this man and his wife who have served in this location since 1991.

The ways of God are never ending, and the ways to serve Him are everywhere. In the world He created, there is great diversity. Whatever our desires in life, God has a way to fulfill them and allow those desires to be used for His kingdom. Sometimes we may think that there is no place that we fit in, that there is no work for us to do because, “Why would God be interested in us, just the way we are?” And yet, as we travel through the states, we find ministries that we never even knew existed, with people devoting their time and energy in very unique ways, and it fits their lives perfectly.

Whether we are a truck driver, a motorcycle rider, a nurse, an accountant, a salesman, a window washer, a computer expert, a chef, whatever God has called us to--He can use us right where we are, or even later on down the road of our life when our careers are over, to help another down the road they are on.

Does anyone really care?

Truckers have a lot of lonely hours hauling everything imaginable to places we may have never heard of. If you’re using it, a truck probably delivered it. There must be moments when they wonder if anybody really cares at all about what they are doing? Especially, with the way some drivers will cut in front of them, ignore their need for more space to merge and brake, or complain about the amount of noise they make. I have been guilty of that myself, since they will leave their engine running while they stop to rest, pulling in along side while we are sleeping in our trailer.

But, truckers have a job to do, and driving those big rigs takes skill and fortitude for the long haul. So does life, because it can be a long haul also. Setting up a ministry to feed the soul, to fill their spiritual tank while they stop to fill their fuel tanks is an exciting ministry to see. Over 17,000 attend these Chapels and over 1,000 truckers have received salvation through these roadside stops.

Say a prayer!

Oh, the wonders of a Mighty God to reach out to the lost and unsaved wherever they can be found in this world. His desire is that none should be lost, and wherever and whenever it is possible to reach them, He will, through ministries like this one found in truck stops.

Next time you travel down the road and find yourself behind one of these large, slow-moving vehicles, remember to say a prayer for the driver. Perhaps he/she will find their way to “Truckstop Ministries, Inc.” and their new Dispatcher will be the Lord himself, guiding them to His refueling station and helping them to know for sure what their final destination will be.