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 of extra days to see if police could find the truck, staying at a Post Falls home courtesy of a family that learned of their predicament.
Their hope was fading and they were preparing to leave Wednesday when they got the call: The U-Haul and most of their belongings had been found.
“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 named Kyle Jarvis, taking a shortcut to catch a bus, found the truck in an abandoned barn. The barn’s door was closed. Jarvis knew that was unusual and peeked inside.
“He saw the truck, the Arizona plates, the sandhill crane on the side of it, the stuff strewn about,” Spivey said.
The truck matched the description of the stolen U-Haul he’d heard 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 planned to continue their trip today.
A Wii video game console was missing, along with jewelry and archery equipment, Spivey said.
The family had planned to transfer 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 planned to rent another pod Wednesday night, and the family will still visit Mount Rushmore and De Smet, S.D., 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 a “roller coaster.”
“I just think you get stripped down to nothing and you really realize what’s most important,” he said, “and that’s our faith in God and our family.”