Donnie Spivey went to bed Tuesday night praying for a miracle.
The church pastor and his family, en route from British Columbia to Florida, lost their possessions when their rented, locked U-Haul was stolen from a Spokane Valley motel parking lot last weekend.
The Spiveys stuck around town a couple extra days to see if police could find the truck, staying at a home in Post Falls donated by a family who learned of their predicament.
But they’d started to lose hope and were preparing to leave town Wednesday when they got the call: the U-Haul had been found, with most of their stuff intact.
“We’re really thankful we didn’t leave,” Spivey said. “We’ve had other people praying about this all over North America, hundreds and hundreds of friends and family.”
A young man, Kyle Jarvis, taking a short cut to catch a bus found the truck in an abandoned barn. The barn’s door had been closed. Jarvis knew that was unusual and peaked inside.
“He saw the truck, the Arizona plates, the Sandhill crane on the side of it, the stuff strewn about,” Spivey said.
It matched the description of the stolen U-Haul he’d heard so much about, so Jarvis went home and called the police.
“The stuff that was easily pawned was gone, but most of their household items were there,” said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan. “They were lucky in that regard.”
The Spiveys spent a few hours going through the items with detectives and plan to continue their trip today.
A Wii video game console is missing, along with jewelry and archery equipment, but most everything else is there, Spivey said.
They were scheduled to transport their belongings to a moving pod in Spokane to send to Florida; driving the items across the border saved them several thousand dollars.
Donnie Spivey was to rent another pod Wednesday night, and the family will go through with plans to visit Mount Rushmore and De Smet, South Dakota, where five books in the Little House on the Prairie series are based.
Their children, Hunter, 10, and Mallory, 8, are big fans, Sheri Spivey said.
Donnie Spivey described his experience in Spokane as “an up and down roller coaster.”
“I just think you get stripped own to nothing and you really realize what’s most important and that’s our faith in God and our family,” he said.