Rebecca West: Words & Music

an autobiography by Rebecca Lynn West

Chapter 3

On The Road Again

In the mid-nineties my family decided to go off the road and start a church.

Gary and I decided to take over the bus and continued traveling in full-time ministry. We loved it and God opened doors for us in which to minister. Periodically, we sang at the Jim Stafford Theater in Branson, Missouri, under the direction of Aaron and Sheila Artt. We became very close friends with them over the years. We had the opportunity to sing at Larry Lee's church in Texas, Robert Tilton's church, and Nancy Harmon Campmeeting in Portland, Oregon. We held a revival in Corpus Christi, Texas, then ministered in several other churches in Texas for a period of three months. Jan Enloe, Gary's sister, lived in Victoria, Texas, at that time and she was a great support to our ministry.

We made three tours of California and sang in several churches there. We were privileged to sing on several television networks as well. We recorded one of our music albums in New Jersey, another one in Nashville, and some in other places.

When we were home, I mailed out all promotional material, scheduled our services and concerts, and did all follow-up mailing to the pastors, which included contracts for air fare, lodging, etc.

By the time I worked a couple of days in our home office, it was time to pack up and head out again! Gary was busy getting the bus ready for another trip, checking the sound equipment, and getting more inventory ready to load on the bus. He loved driving the bus. He was an excellent bus driver. He could set a glass of water on the dash of the bus and not a drop of water would be spilled. It was smooth sailing!

The heart of our ministry was to veterans. We held veterans rallys in almost every state. Gary was one of the special speakers at the Viet Nam Memorial Wall. We started a club for veterans called "Veterans Club of America." There were more than 300 members. Every Veterans Day Gary would call every one of them on the phone and thank them for freedom. Gary was a Viet Nam Veteran, and the recepient of the Purple Heart Award.

Gary was wounded in Viet Nam when a sniper shot him and the bullet went all the way through his body. He had several surgeries and spent one year in the hospital. He had to learn to walk again, and the emotional trauma was even worse. He was in pain all of the time even years later to the point where nothing would relieve him of the pain caused by scar tissue in his body from the surgeries.

After many years on the road, he became very tired and mentally exhausted. The repercussions of war and what it can do to an individual and their family is heart breaking.

We didn't know that our lives were getting ready to change drastically. What lie ahead was a long and winding road of heartache and pain.

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