• Cortnie Brooks

A car named 'Thankful'

A THANKSGIVING STORY


Have you ever loved a car so much that you treated it like a member of your family? We are saying goodbye to such a car this week! And with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, we wanted to share a little story about how a car named Thankful came to be in our family.








Saying goodbye to our Mazda //


From the moment we drove it home from the dealership, this car has been helping make memories for our family. And just this week it took its last trip: too many broken parts to fix them all this time.


We are really sad to say goodbye to this amazing car as we go on the hunt for a new one.



AN AWESOME GOD STORY



In 2014, we were searching for a larger car that would fit the needs of our growing family. Cortnie was pregnant with Lulu at the time and the only car we had was a small Ford sedan named Blueberry because it was tiny, blue, and quite round. It had enough room for Eoghan and Finn's booster seats, but there was no way it would also fit Lulu once she was born. We had to find another car soon, and we knew it.


One night, while searching online for affordable family-size SUVs, we stumbled upon the perfect Mazda CX-9. It was a few years old but still in beautiful shape, it had all-wheel drive to survive Montana's snowy winters, and best of all: it had three rows with enough room for all of the Brooks kids (plus a few extra seats for any family, friends, or students to come along with us too). The only issue was that missionaries don't make a lot of money on paper. We could afford the payments, but we'd had already been denied a car loan a few days earlier (and we did not want to repeat that experience again). We didn't know if a bank would approve us for a loan this time or not, and we would have to drive Blueberry all the way to Seattle to find out if they'd give us the car.


We didn't know what happened, but we had a feeling that it had something to do with the boss being in the building.

Long story short, after we drove to the dealership in Seattle, we were told by a car salesman that our income was too small to receive a loan, but he graciously told us that he'd try to process the paperwork for the loan application anyway. Then he went back to his office and left us sitting there feeling a bit hopeless. At that moment, the owner of the dealership walked into the building, quietly stepped past us, and walked straight into the salesman's office. A few minutes later we were told that we were approved for the car loan. We didn't know what happened, but we had a feeling that it had something to do with the boss being in the building.


Several salesmen would later tell us that he never came into their building, but instead, he always stayed across the lot where the brand-new cars were being sold. They were a bit shocked and surprised to see him there in that building on that specific day. "You are really lucky," one of the salesmen said. Even crazier, they told us that when he saw the paperwork being processed for our loan application, he noticed the name of the little town in Montana where we lived. It turns out that he had just returned from a weekend trip to that same area in Montana where he had been playing golf with a friend.


However, his golfing buddy was no ordinary friend.


He never spoke to us or let us know why he chose to help us out, he just walked out of the building and we never saw him again.

The owner's golfing buddy just so happened to be the President of the same bank there in Seattle that was processing our loan at that very moment. The owner of the auto dealership picked up the phone and called his golfing buddy and asked him to push through the loan for us. He never spoke to us or let us know why he chose to help us out, he just walked out of the building and we never saw him again.


We drove out of that dealership that day with our beautiful Mazda. Full of thanks, we were in absolute awe of the way God opened all the right doors for that car to be ours. There was no way we could've gotten it on our own.


We named the car—Thankful.








A new car, and a new God Story //


We have traveled many miles in that car since that day. Tent camping while pregnant with Liam. Finding Lulu packed into the back like a piece of lost luggage. Discovering a little shop that sold bubble tea in Kalispell. Taking the car back to Seattle with our students for refugee-focused outreaches. Under-aged drivers while parked in driveways. Roadside berry picking. Lightsaber fights with pool noodles. Christmas trees strapped to the roof. Family outings. Secret selfies. And trips to see friends in far-off places! It has brought us to all of these memories and more.


So many miles and so many adventures together! And now we are looking forward to making new memories in our next vehicle.



A WONDERFUL DEAL



All those miles later, we are once again looking for a new family car.


Just as we did back in 2014, we've been scouring the internet, looking for another good deal that would meet our family's needs—and we believe we finally found one! There is a great Chevrolet Suburban just a few hours away, it's priced below the regular market price, and the owner of the dealership has already helped us get approved for an affordable loan. If we can get this car, it would give us many more miles ahead, and a lot more room for our growing kids.








Fundraising Update November 29:


We are raising funds to be able to purchase this personal vehicle for our family. If you would like to contribute directly to this fundraiser, then you can give via Paypal (click here), Venmo (@cortanddrew), or check (Brooks Family, 501 Blacktail Rd, Lakeside, MT 59922). Or call / text us at (503) 308-0031.


We have raised enough so far to make a good down payment on this car. This will ensure that our payments are affordable for our family so that we can continue the ministry we are doing.


We are still hoping to raise an additional $2000 to help with the cost of this vehicle and to replace some of the personal savings that our family has put toward purchasing this new car. Thank you to everyone who has given so far!




We will put every dollar that comes in through this month’s fundraiser directly toward this very specific personal need. However, if you'd prefer to donate to the ministry we are doing at YWAM Montana instead, then simply click here. It only takes a moment to make a tax-deductible donation through YWAM Montana's website.


Thank you for giving to these needs! We love and appreciate you so much.

- Andy & Cortnie







#GivingTuesday is coming soon: November 30, 2021



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