Everything seemed to go wrong for Josh France and Brooke Carroll.
“It was one thing after another,” France, 40, said Thursday night.
“We had no place to live, our car broke down,” said Carroll, 30. “We just felt like we weren’t going anywhere.”
Together for nearly 13 years, the couple moved to northern Idaho from Oregon with their young daughter, Abigail, about a year ago, and quickly discovered they had another baby on the way.
“We came here with the promise of work and housing,” France said.
They lived and worked with friends in Blanchard.
“They had six kids and there wasn’t a lot of room, so we had to go out,” Carroll said.
When France’s father died just weeks after arriving in northern Idaho, they found themselves putting more miles on their already high-mileage Toyota Matrix as they drove between Oregon and Idaho. to be with their family.
“The wipers were stuck,” France said. “You had to balance the wiper button between on and off. It was a wreck.”
Then their friends’ shop closed.
“We were on the ropes staying in a hotel,” France said. “We ran out of money and ended up in our car. We called Family Promise and the next day they called back and said, ‘Come in’.”
Family Promise of North Idaho is a nonprofit organization in Coeur d’Alene that serves families facing homelessness by connecting them with churches, community partners, and others who can help these families restore stability in their life.
“They’re awesome,” Carroll said.
The family welcomed baby David into the world about three months ago, during the first week they became a Family Promise family. France continued to work, but when their car broke down while they were parking at a local church where they were staying, it made the difficult situation even more difficult.
“We pulled up and Brooke said, ‘Did you notice stuff leaking from the car? “, France said. “I go and see and there’s just a constant flow of liquid, and we’re like, ‘Oh no.’”
They left the car in the church parking lot. Members of local church communities have heard the family’s story.
“I was going out to get a cab and one of the guys said, ‘Is there anything we can do for you? ‘” France said. “I was like, ‘Uh, pray?
This prayer has been answered.
A generous donor, who asked to remain anonymous, contacted the family to help pay for the repair of their car. That was out of the question when they brought it into the store and found out it could cost up to $12,000.
“We’re like, ‘Well, it’s a new car,'” France said.
The donor was not discouraged. The individual directed the family to Union Gospel Mission Motors in Spokane and told them to go through the inventory.
“We walked in and they let me choose one,” France said. ” I am still shocked. I don’t even know the words for it, really.”
On October 21, the donor presented the family with a reliable used 2004 Dodge Durango, a vehicle far more appropriate for a growing family of four.
“We were surprised and grateful,” Carroll said. “There are no words to explain.”
It was a huge boost for their morale.
“It really lifted our spirits,” Carroll said.
“Knowing there’s someone who cares,” France added.
“That we are in people’s prayers,” Carroll said.
France said where they came from, “people wouldn’t even spit on you.”
“They don’t recognize other people. You could get wrecked on your bike or fall and people pass by and don’t recognize you,” he said. “Here you fall off your bike, people come looking for you.”
Abigail kindly smiled and gave a two thumbs up when asked about the new ride.
“It’s definitely a godsend,” France said. “I prayed for help and God sent help to us in the form of our donor.”
The family is working to find permanent accommodation, which will be much easier with a 4×4 that can move them this winter.
They also keep in touch with the donor, who calls them to check on their condition every week.
“We have faith,” France said. “We do whatever is in front of us. We face the odds to get back on our feet so we can just live and do our thing.”
Family Promise executive director Cindy Wood said the nonprofit was grateful for the act of kindness.
“We continue to experience life in this overwhelming place of gratitude to see how the community comes together again in unexpected ways to uplift people,” she said. “We are very grateful.”